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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Digitalisme. Alva Bernadine

In 1987, in the arrogance of my youth, I wrote a manifesto to encapsulate what I was thinking at the time. It began: The Bernadinian photo-philosophy can be summed up in five words. They are:


Looking back, I think I have largely lived up to it. I have restlessly endevoured to find new and inventive ways to present my vision of my world. I have used Surrealism, ambivalence, surprising visual perspective and I have even married photography with Op-Art patterns.

I have over 25 years experience as a photographer being first published in 1983. After 18 months of experimentation, my mature style as a photographer was formed. In 1987 I won the the Vogue Sotheby's Cecil Beaton Award, a competition to discover young talent. I have photographed for numerous national magazines including FHM, GQ, Skin Two, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Independent magazines, Elle, Vogue, Tatler, Mixmag, Attitude etc. I have had many profiles of my work in countries such as France, Spain, Italy, USA, Australia, Germany and, of course, Great Britain.

In 2001 I realised one of my great ambitions when a book of my work, Bernadinism: How to Dominate Men and Subjugate Women was published by Edition Stemmle. I am now working to towards a second book.

After a long period of illness starting from 2003, I started to reassess my career. It had always been a compromise where I would have to bend my creative instincts in the service of others and I had little opportunity to photograph the images that were most pressing on my mind. The book, Bernadinism: How to Dominate Men and Subjugate Women, was mostly made up of my personal work which had languished in my handmade albums for years and which nobody ever saw apart from close friends, and some commissioned works where I was given a free reign from fashion magazines and the shoe designer Emma Hope. I decided that from then on only to take the photographs I wanted to.

Having made that decision, I am now free to take better and more ambitious pictures, some of which has been haunting me for years. I have already made a start ans some of the pictures on this site is a result.


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