Beyond mere Beauty and Eroticism
The color photographs in this series are from my early work dating back from the early 1980’s. These were my exploratory years. I had just arrived in Texas and was seduced by the “American Dream.” I was dreaming then and I am still dreaming. I wanted to bring to the mind’s eye a new representation of the female body. I created images at once surreal and erotically charged, suggesting how the body does indeed turn into a mysterious terrain; a dreamland. This series made its debut at the Millioud Gallery in Houston’s FotoFest, 1994.
"John Bernhard takes the human form and presents it as dreamland. Light, color, and shadow create images resembling the soft curves of flesh. In a color photograph that Bernhard calls “Prairie Fire”, the legs and torso of a reclining female nude are enlivened by brillant orange and yellow hues, as well as interior images of trees and foliage that merge with her pubic hair. the image is at once surreal and erotically charged, suggesting how the body does indeed turn into a misterious terrain when traveled by the kisses and caresses of an ardant lover." From Sydney Gilbert, ARTSPEAK Magazine, New York.
"This award winning image was singled out from a larger body of work for its successful application of color, form, and detail. This image “Prairie Fire” is a Mother-heaven as well as a Mother-earth for me, and a perfect marriage of second, third, and fourth dimensions." From Andy Reisberg in his 1995 Juror’s statement address at the Texas Photographic Society, Austin, Texas.
Date: 1978 -1980 Archival print and color print Edition: 10 Size 14x11 / 40x30 (inches)