close the door when I'm gone.
Taylor Bernstein
untitled 3. oil on canvas. 36" x 48". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
Charlene. oil and acrylic on canvas. 40" x 30". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
2 of 2. oil stick and acrylic on canvas. 30" x 40". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
untitled 9. acrylic on oil paper. 29" x 21". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
Harry. oil and acrylic on canvas. 34" x 32". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
untitled 4. oil on canvas. 36" x 48". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
untitled 8. acrylic on oil paper. 29" x 21". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
Melina. oil on canvas. 40" x 30". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
Carly. oil and acrylic on canvas. 40" x 30". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
untitled 6. acrylic on oil paper. 29" x 21". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
Sam. oil on stretched canvas. 40" x 30". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
Joni. oil and acrylic on canvas. 40" x 30". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
untitled 7. acrylic on oil paper. 29" x 21". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
untitled 2. oil on canvas. 34" x 46". 2020.
By Taylor Bernstein
Artist Statement
The path of self discovery is not a paved street, smooth with fresh concrete, the smell of ripe tar and yellow marks glowing against the unforgiving blackness. There is always the chance of tripping and skinning your knee, the burning sting of scraped flesh imprinted with dirt and grime. Band aids don’t adhere immediately every time.

Occasionally identity shifts at the mere notion of a breeze yet sometimes stands strong, a dam against the influence of outside forces. I have come to the temporary conclusion of it being both a kaleidoscope and a rollercoaster, simultaneously on a track and at the whim of manipulation.

Yearning to capture the slick liquid response I try not to cower at possible self recognition or, worse, identification. Inevitable change and visage everlasting which cannot be seen, but is heard clearly by all. Permanence in a fleeting expression, categorization by an audience shrouded in societal expectations, impending unwanted nomenclature and exile to a box reeking metallic in spite of an intentionally benign first impression. Vacant places can be viewed without light, but if I had never embraced your burden would I still grieve you when you’ve gone? Faint static hums in the background where there remains a figure forever overexposed.

A chemically induced seatbelt restrains me, though slack creates the sensation of falling, release, vague memories of letting go and then being scooped up by professional whomever to be suffocated by good intentions. Adjust the setting, filters on the negative space increase the contrast between body and environment. Suffocation by frustration, foggy sleep-like state of being. I wait for the drop, push down on the floor beneath my feet to ensure I won’t simply float out of my seat into the sky.

A forum of voices question, hypothesize and curse the heavens, their luck, genetics, society in its entirety. Bias is the name of the game and bureaucracy enforces it. I reach for the other side only to be pushed back, pulled by uncertainty and failed attempts. I stop looking toward the future, resigned to confinement in the chains of myself. Avoiding the mirror in my room takes practice and I cower in the corner where I’ve been instructed to stay with unsightly flesh and cold feet. Rebellion obscured for apparently authority isn’t recognized anymore. Angry animalistic assertion. Air trapped in lungs as answers unfold, truths uncovered, lies disproven, and lessons learned.

Put it in colors and give me what you can. I understand some will be lost along the way, it’s natural to hide your hand. Place it in perspective because you can’t have hot without cold, only the absence of heat. Strike down and embrace fear, accept reality alongside the lack thereof. Complacency is a dirty word.