Paul Bernhardt : Statement

Double-blind, "an experimental procedure in which neither the subjects of the experiment nor the persons administering the experiment know the critical aspects of the experiment; a double-blind procedure is used to guard against both experimenter bias and placebo effects".

Our tenuous faith in science and technology's ability to solve society's most pressing crises, which tend to be ethical in nature, is interrogated in Bernhardt's recent work.  Found images are layered, and manipulated by painterly strategies both additive and subtractive, of gesture, line, pouring, spraying and scraping.  The imagery is pushed to the ambiguous edge of abstraction, and deliberately re-contextualized in an engaging visual complexity that invites fresh, if uncomfortable, insight into contemporary culture by creating a space for the poetry of allegory and metaphor.  This potential for synergistic insight, inherent in art, stands as an important critical counterpoint to the ethical short-falls of reductive science, and the illusive power of our culture's false idols.  Bernhardt's images don't take the uncomplicated moral high road, though.  His nostalgia for obsolete amazing machines, and fondness for the pop-culture's heroes is evident, implying a struggle with the murky ethical tensions between compliance and resistance.