BDSM by Simon Bernhardt

© Simon Bernhardt.
© Simon Bernhardt.

This latest exhibition by Simon Bernhardt, BDSM, features 16 engaging and intimate portraits of very different BDSM practitioners. Through these portraits, Bernhardt attempts to dispel the stereotypes that surround BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission and sadomasochism). The work tells the story of ordinary people at ease in their skin, or behind their masks. The exhibition opens just two days before Sydney’s Mardi Gras Festival, matching the theme of everyday people exploring their own sexual identity.

© Simon Bernhardt.
© Simon Bernhardt.

“There is a certain misconception associated with BDSM – that practitioners are somehow perverted and guilty of abhorrent fetishes. BDSM showcases practitioners on a journey of sexual discovery, while allowing people to learn more about how they came to be excited by things outside ‘mainstream’ sexual expression,” Bernhardt says. “BDSM seeks to celebrate and document these participants and their unique sexual identities by breaking taboos and misunderstandings about what we think goes on behind closed doors.”

Opening night: 6pm, Thursday 3rd of March, 2016.
© Simon Bernhardt.
© Simon Bernhardt.
© Simon Bernhardt.
© Simon Bernhardt.

About Simon Bernhardt

Simon Bernhardt is an advertising, editorial and fine art photographer based in Sydney. Whilst studying Fine Arts Photography and Media at the University of Technology, Sydney, Bernhardt worked as a freelance photographic assistant for some of the top fashion, advertising and fine art photographers, internationally and in Australia.

In 2010, his first photographic publication was released, Polaroid Holiday, reflecting his creative obsession with the Polaroid format and capturing studies of stark urban alienation. This exhibition and book tour, travelled over the following three years.

In 2014, Bernhardt’s third photographic publication and exhibition, Gateway, sparked serious political and cultural debate throughout Australia. It featured sixteen contemporary portraits of cannabis users that attempted to dispel stereotypes, while debating whether cannabis is really a gateway drug, and its possible future legalisation for medical and recreational purposes in Australia. The exhibition and limited edition book release also aimed to eliminate any emotion from the sensitive subject of illegal drug use.

 

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