New York

Richard Bernstein, John Stamos, ca. 1984, airbrush, gouache, and collage on board, 23 × 18".

Richard Bernstein

Jeffrey Deitch

Richard Bernstein, John Stamos, ca. 1984, airbrush, gouache, and collage on board, 23 × 18".

Regime change is never good for the court painter. And shortly after Andy Warhol died, Richard Bernstein lost his gig as the artist for Interview magazine covers. (Four more of his covers, already in the can, appeared after Warhol’s death.) Was he always competing with Warhol, the one who many assumed was behind Bernstein’s covers? Yes, but the artist also served as a bright antipode to the portraitists of the New York Post, arbiter of both celebrity and criminality, and the house organ of Warhol’s dark antithesis, Donald J. Trump.

Warhol’s layers and print techniques brought his portraits toward the placid. Faces in his matrix go still, their humanity strained through the dusty, quieting mesh of xerography. Bernstein started with the photographic layer and worked up from there, using airbrush, gouache, pencil, and collage to create his ideals. Warhol made the famous look like they

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