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Meet Cindy Bernhard

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cindy Bernhard.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My childhood was filled with memories of helping my mom bake an exorbitant amount of desserts, with or without the excuse of a holiday or celebration. It was my job to decorate all the baked goods that she carefully and lovingly crafted.

After graduate school, this primary experience began to inform my work when I started utilizing pastry tools as a means of mark-making.

Please tell us about your art.
In my work I playfully celebrate femininity and sexuality. The sources for my imagery are diverse; ranging from derivations of fairy tales, motifs from women’s lifestyle magazines, internet culture, and mass-produced party decor.

My recent paintings explore the malleability of paint by creating a tactile physical depth which belies the flatness of a traditional canvas. In my work, the rectangle of the canvas acts as a window and a literal support, such as a base or podium, where mounds of oil paint decorate the structures surface. Utilizing pastry tools as a means of mark-making, piles of oil paint transform into faux decorative icing creating immediate seduction and excess. Through this mode of application, paint and object become one in the same, announcing a physical presence which rivals sculpture.

The frosting-like floral arrangements, serpentine lines, and pastel colors reference elaborate ornamentations seen in Rococo motifs, while harkening back to surface embellishments one might find on traditional confectioneries. Choice of color and curvy lines celebrate and embrace tropes of the ultra-feminine. The notion of thick impasto and viscous paint gleans much from the heroic masculine painting strategies of abstract expressionism. This hybridity of signs and practice allows me to re-contextualize the use of traditionally domestic tools with snippets that are often tongue-in-cheek.

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Image Credit:
Cindy Bernhard

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