Purple Diary

purple fashion magazine
— S/S 2013 issue 19

Judith Bernstein

SELF-PORTRAIT
text and photography by JUDITH BURNSTEIN 

All images courtesy of the artist and The Box L.A.

 
As a 70-year-old activist artist whose work has experienced censorship on a big scale, I’m thrilled to continue to outrage. My art references the subliminal. It is a psychological amalgamation of sex, war and feminism in different orders and priorities.

As a graduate student at Yale School of Art in the 1960s, during a time when Yale had an all-male undergraduate program, the gender inequality was extreme in my environment and the outside world. This fact and many others led to my obsession with feminism and political injustice.

I became fascinated with explicit bathroom drawings. Graffiti is deeper psychologically than you can imagine, because when you’re releasing on the toilet, you’re also releasing from the subconscious. I love raw humor, and there’s no editing of thoughts when men use the bathroom. For me, aggression and humor are strongly connected. You see this in my piece Supercock, a drawing of a comic figure with huge genitals who flies while ejaculating through the world. And also in Fun-Gun, an anatomical drawing of a triggered cock with collaged bullets. “This may not be heaven but Peter hangs out here.”

In 1966-’68, scatological images heavily influenced my “Fuck Vietnam” series. Reflecting back to my early 20s, I was completely fearless and had an explosive energy. I wanted my paintings to confront war with very graphic, in-your-face words and imagery. My voice was screaming to be heard. I used stuffed phalluses, images of blood and cum juxtaposed with national imagery and US flags. No visual can be as crude as war. “Baby, the fuckin’ you get ain’t worth the fuckin’ you take.” In 1970, I then made the leap to drawing hardware screws that morphed into humongous charcoal phallic presences. They are power images that continue to characterize war and feminism (at 9 x 30 feet, mine’s bigger than theirs).

For Judith Bernstein: Hard, my pocket-survey exhibition at the New Museum, I tagged my super-sized signature on a 14-x-70-foot glass wall that the viewer walks through (Signature 1986/2012). The piece represents my mind. The screw drawings had been my signature, and in this work I abandoned the phalluses and just went for subtext. It’s all about fame, ego and my response to male posturing.

I’m currently exploring the origin of space, time and infinity, using...

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[February 12 2016] : News

John Miller “I Stand, I Fall” solo exhibition curated by Alex Gartenfeld will be on view from February 18 at the ICA, Miami
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John Miller “I Stand, I Fall” solo exhibition curated by Alex Gartenfeld will be on view from February 18 at the ICA, Miami

“Without question, John Miller is among the most influential, thoughtful and political artists of our time, and his output has inspired generations of artists,” said Alex Gartenfeld, ICA Miami’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator. “The exhibition uses the theme of the figure to explore how John has time and again asked pressing questions about the political and social nature of our reality—through beautiful, humorous, and subversive forms.”

Photo Barbara Escobar

[February 11 2016] : Travel

A visit to The Classic Remise, Berlin
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A visit to The Classic Remise, Berlin

Photo Arthur Groeneveld & Bamboo van Kampen

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[February 11 2016] : Art

Alexander May “HOLO” exhibition in collaboration with pet Jess Arndt at LAXArt, Los Angeles
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Alexander May “HOLO” exhibition in collaboration with pet Jess Arndt at LAXArt, Los Angeles

Alexander May’s recent collaborative performance and installation at LAXArt uses the Roman alphabet and resulting linguistic codes as a catalyst to explore material predicament and process. May’s work has consistently revolved around his frustration with the written word – its codification and structural parameters – and his practice is an attempt to reconcile his disconnect.

The nucleus of his installation, Alfebetik Organ or communication office, is a physical diagram (comprised of speakers, amps, cylinders and cords) that maps the structural layers within language via human activation. This interactive sounds sculpture transforms the alphabet into an auditory exercise where the twenty-six letters correspond to unmarked pedals that are paired with unique tones. As... Read More

Text and photos by Cecelia Stucker

[February 11 2016] : Art

Susan Cianciolo “Though I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not Love, I am nothing” ‘Corinthians’ exhibition at 356 Mission, Los Angeles
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Susan Cianciolo “Though I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not Love, I am nothing” ‘Corinthians’ exhibition at 356 Mission, Los Angeles

Sometimes while walking on the streets of LA, one stumbles across doors leading to sparsely decorated spaces intended for displaced parishes. These rooms, if not unremarkable, are mostly scantily clad with standard-issue foldable chairs and tables, intended (surely) to counter delivered souls with the Third Kind through home-made rice krispie squares and cold cuts. At 356 Mission, however, Susan Cianciolo (with a congregation consisting of, for example, the bicoastal fashion-cum-art acolytes of Eckhaus Latta, NYC high priestess Chloe Sevigny and the artist’s grandmother) has her tables laden with cardboard ‘kits’ for viewers to observe and connect from. During the opening, cherubim-faced disciples (or gallery assistants), shrouded in veils and... Read More

Text and photo Sabrina Tarasoff

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