Richard Bernstein Biography

While Richard Bernstein is most widely remembered today as the creator of Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine distinctive covers, in the mid 60s he was one of the pioneers and architects of Pop Art. One of the first artists to blur the line between commercial and fine art, Bernstein’s technicolor work (whether on canvas shown in a gallery or a magazine cover at a newsstand) captured the glamour, extravagance, and innovation of the Pop Art era.

Bernstein’s storied career began in the early 1960s after earning a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute and M.F.A. from Columbia University. After a successful debut solo exhibition in 1965, he was invited to a prestigious group show at the Byron Gallery alongside Andy Warhol, Sol Lewitt, and Robert Rauchenberg. After his success in New York, he continued to show new artworks at the legendary Iris Clert Gallery in Paris, which led to exhibitions throughout Europe, Japan, and North America. In 1968 Richard moved back to New York and into the Chelsea Hotel grand ballroom, which he converted into his art studio. With his dynamic personality, movie star looks, and exceptional talent, Richard was at the center of the New York social scene that revolved around the Warhol Factory and Studio 54. While working at Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine from 1972 until 1989, he developed an unmistakable style that is instantly recognizable as the “Bernstein Look.” His portraits helped to amplify celebrity culture that characterized this dynamic period in New York’s history.

After his tenure at Interview, he remained active as an art director in the fashion and music industries while continuing to make his own art. In 1990, Bernstein had been commissioned by the World Federation of United Nations Associations to create the first postal stamp for the new decade. This commission places him in the company of Warhol, Calder, and Picasso, who have been similarly honored. Today Richard Bernstein’s impact on artists, art institutions and the creative culture is stronger than ever.

His works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C., Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.; Corcoran Art Gallery, Washington D.C., and has had exhibitions at the Iris Clert Gallery, Paris, Gallerie Barozzi, Venice; Gallerie Axiom, London; Gallery Monet, Amsterdam among others.

About The Estate of Richard Bernstein

Established in 2018, The Estate of Richard Bernstein’s mission is to sustain, expand, and protect the legacy of Richard Bernstein, his art, and his ideals. The Estate is led by President Rory Trifon, Richard Bernstein’s nephew. Following the publication of Richard Bernstein Starmaker: Andy Warhol’s Cover Artist by Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha which sparked renewed interest in Bernstein’s work, the estate oversaw inclusion of his fine art in a number of high-profile Museum and Gallery shows as well as collaborations with luxury brands such as Coach and Loewe showcasing Bernstein’s archives.