Dani Bernstein Art: A Journey Through Transition and Expression
Better known in the art world as Dani Bernstein Art, is a name that echoes through the hallways of Hamilton College and beyond. Being a senior studying art and art history, Dani Bernstein Art has been using their art to navigate through their journey of gender transition and self-discovery, creating impactful pieces that resonate with the struggles of the queer and trans community.'The Rib of Eve' - A self-portrait by Dani Bernstein Art that depicts the artist's journey of self-discovery and body acceptance.
Introducing Dani Bernstein Art
Dani Bernstein Art, a trans mixed media artist and activist from Boston, has been making waves in the art world with their distinctive style and vivid storytelling. Being a senior studying art and art history at Hamilton College, their personal practice is constantly evolving, and they find that play and exploring a variety of mediums help them with inspiration. They are passionate about creating queer spaces and increasing much needed representation for queer and trans issues/experiences. Their ultimate aim is to inspire others to create and explore the self and presence.
The Journey of Self-Discovery through Art
One of the standout pieces in their portfolio is the self-portrait 'The Rib of Eve,' a large-scale oil painting that marks their journey towards self-acceptance and body representation. This was the first time they were able to fully depict their body in oil paint. Painting the self not only requires vulnerability in sharing their body with the world but also vulnerability in staring at references of themselves for hours on end. Years of painting went into perfecting this color palette. Creating imagery of trans struggles helps them navigate those struggles and they hope will help others feel heard and affirmed.
Art as a Lifeline
Dani Bernstein Art's journey to art began even before they could remember. One of their fondest childhood memories is standing proudly in front of their easel wearing a smock, dot marker in hand. In high school, they began painting in acrylic, inspired by a wonderful art teacher. Art became a safe space for them to escape, and soon grew into a process through which they could explore their identity and process emotions they weren't able to before. Art helped them navigate battling through mental health issues and allowed them to navigate their gender transition.
Connecting and Inspiring Through Art
Dani Bernstein Art connects with their audience primarily through social media platforms like Instagram, where they share insights about their work and life. They are hoping to create more video content in the coming year to further engage with their followers and share their artistic journey.
Finding Inspiration In The World Around
The artist's inspiration comes from both internal and external sources. They consciously surround themselves with media and artwork that stir their creative juices. Visiting museums, spending time in libraries, and working from their own photographs and old works are just some of the ways they find inspiration. They find inspiration meditating on the self and in the world around them, while also exploring concepts in a variety of mediums.
A Unique Artistic Style
Dani Bernstein Art describes their artistic style as open. They work with growth and learning in the forefront of their mind and try not to limit their creative pursuits. They are constantly shifting and as they do, their art changes with them. They work experimentally and pursue their interests while trying to avoid putting their work in one particular box. Their engagement with process, deep vulnerability, and willingness to experiment make their work stand out. Their work is emotional, raw, and honest and they are working to challenge conceptions surrounding what art is and can do.
The Future Of Dani Bernstein Art
Moving forward, Dani Bernstein Art has plans of creating a self-sustaining artist community and continuing work around queer activism, visibility, and representation. They hope to inspire others through their work and create spaces of home for themselves and others. They have many future goals for their art including plans for the next year and beyond. They hope to develop a self-sustaining artist community where a group of artists will be able to work, live, and share their work.
Like any artist, Dani Bernstein Art has faced their share of challenges. From battling mental health issues and discrimination to having their artwork stolen, their journey hasn't been easy. However, they have stayed true to themselves and used art as an outlet to process difficult emotions, proving that adversity can indeed fuel great artistry. They have faced an incredible amount of adversity at Hamilton, reflecting many outdated and elitist conceptions. Transitioning during college was by no means an easy experience. Being in an environment in opposition with their values has given them the opportunity to learn how to create the spaces they need and use their art for good. Exploring political activism and queer representation while at Hamilton have been life changing experiences.