The man who flawlessly captured the allure of the disco era is being honoured in a stunning new release from Mauricio & Roger Padilha. Richard Bernstein STARMAKER (Rizzo) pays tribute to the late Richard Bernstein, who is famous for his iconic hyper-coloured graphic portraits of superstars for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine.

Interview will go down in history as one of the most influential pop culture magazines to exist, and many often thought that Warhol himself created the covers, as Bernstein’s bold and graphic artwork was so complimentary to AW’s. However, it was Bernstein who made the cover art so distinct, through embellishment of the photographs with pastels, stencils and airbrushing. His subjects may have already reached mega-watt levels of fame, but the American artist and art director transformed them into something larger than life, something out of this world, immortalizing their legacy and youth in a pop-art incarnation of themselves.

The book is a collection of his legendary Interview covers, dating from the mid-60s to the mid-90s. Featured faces include Madonna, Mick Jagger, Cher, Calvin Klein, Jerry Hall, Michael Jackson, and Grace Jones, who also wrote the foreword of the book. Other photographs included are Bernstein’s fine art creations, album covers, and editorial work for big-name publications such as TIME, Vogue Italia and Playboy. Interspersed between images are stories and anecdotes told by his closest friends and collaborators.

There was no one better to deliver this tribute than authors and brothers, Roger and Mauricio Padilah. They co-founded MAO PR in 1988, which still remains a successful fashion public relations agency today. In 2001, they tried their hand in publishing, creating MAO MAG, and soon after crafting The Stephen Sprouse Book, Antonio: Fashion, Art, Sex & Disco and GLOSS: The Work of Chris von Wagenheim with Rizzoli.

Bernstein has always been a favourite of the brothers. “He was first brought to our attention through the legendary Interview magazine covers he created but soon discovered that so many of the equally visionary work for Fiorucci,  Andy Warhol Films, Vogue, etc that we also loved were also done by him.” Mauricio Padilah tells us. “Beyond his art, Richard led an extraordinary life (albeit tragic) and was in the center of so many cultural movements and moments that still resonate today. A fixture at Studio 54, Max’s Kansas City, the mod scene in London during the 60’s, or Hollywood in the 80s, it seemed that Richard was always in the zeitgeist of the late 20th century.”

The artist never got the proper recognition for his talent – many unknowingly attributed his work to Warhol and others. “His story was one that Mauricio and I always felt compelled to tell and, coincidently, his family reached out to us last year to pitch a book on Richard.” Roger Padilah notes. The brothers were given full reign of the archives and discovered that full extent of Bernstein’s work amassed far beyond their expectations. “Anyone who thinks they know Richard’s work will be surprised at the real breadth of it.”

The world-renowned singer and supermodel Grace Jones has penned the foreword, and the incredible graphic designer, photographer, and advertising film director Jean-Paul Goude has penned the book’s finishing note. For any art lover, fashionista, or pop-culture-obsessed, this volume offers a loving insight into the career of best creative minds of the late 20thcentury.

 

Richard Bernstein STARMAKER ($75) will hit shelves in September.

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Jane Bradshaw

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