Far from illustrating wry caricature, Bernhardt’s wildly expressive style illuminates her own complicit role as spell-bound fan. Her paintings are executed with rarefied passion, conveying urgency, obsession, and a desire to emulate through the act of making. Her engagement with beauty is funny, clumsy, and endearingly humiliating. ’Getting it right’ fashion dissolves into planes of illusive abstraction as designer bikinis transform into ill-fitting triangles, eye-shadow hovers as lurid circles, and pink terrains of skin drip with melting suggestion of fake tan or plastic surgery rumour. Through her casual formalism, Bernhardt uncovers the true secrets of attraction: a beauty that lies in the pureness of sentiment and basic instinct aesthetic, packaged with the uptown savvy of raw ambition.

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