|By Emma Procter, Features Editor|
Published: March 27, 2009
The Carbon 12 art gallery, located in Dubai Marina and steadily building a reputation for hosting some of the world’s most innovative artists, is about to showcase the work of one of the quirkiest female artists of recent times.
Katherine Bernhardt will be bringing her highly-praised ‘Wonder Women’ collection, an observation of the world’s top fashion icons, to the Middle East this April for the very first time.
Based In New York, Bernhardt has toured the world and her works can currently also be found in the Saatchi Gallery in the UK.
She paints portraits of women and still life based on well-known consumer symbols using acrylics, specialty paints and glitter, all in an expressionistic, almost abstract style.
She has also produced a store installation for Chanel and for the launch of the new J-12 watch.
Other high profile work includes: the cover for Flaunt, a collaboration with Edun fashion house, and a store installation at Miss Sixty in New York. She has also produced a fashion line with Lemar and Dauley.
In her words
The somewhat eccentric artist discusses art, music, fashion and Duran Duran:
To start with, I don’t know much about the fashion world, except through the films that I have watched about it, like the Issac Miizrahi film, or the Marc Jacobs documentary. I have also seen movies about Yves Saint Laurent.
I have only been to a couple of fashion shows including Cynthia Rowley, and lesser know designers, but I always find the show very exciting, so fast and condensed yet totally stimulating.
I enjoy and am fascinated with the models for their amazing skin and how thin they are.
I also love fashion photography, hence why I am so interested in looking at magazines.
I couldn’t name the photographers though. I have met Natalia Vodianova at the Guggenheim only briefly and got a picture with her, as well as Erin Wasson, which was totally thrilling.
I choose the subjects of my work pretty randomly, I go through the magazines and tear out pages of images that interest me on a colour, form and general interest level.
One of the people that I enjoy painting most is Kate Moss just because she is so crazy, and there is so much personality there to come though in the painting.
Another good subject is Alice Dellal, she is really new on the model scene, some people think she is ugly and a total reprobate, but that makes for a good subject — all her partying makes for a good subject matter.
Doing residencies in other parts of the world definitely has an influence on my work; the paintings that I did in Vienna came out looking “art deco” and Viennese.
The paintings that I made in London were directly related to this city: particularly punk and Duran Duran — in fact after meeting Nick Rhodes, I ended up naming all of my London work after lyrics from their new album.
For example, Alice Dellal becomes “you will always be my queen of falling down”, or other titles include “is she flirting with me now?”
My summer residency in Mykonos, Greece, inspired me to name all 65 works after Greek goddesses...so Agyness Deyn becomes “Hermes, goddess of trickery”, Kate Moss becomes “Ageistis Hermaphroditic Demon”.
As for me, well I’m not friends with any designers. Personally I shop at thrift stores and find all my clothes second hand, in an effort to be green, and recycle.
I love searching for that one item that is unique and special - my personal style is totally 1980’s.