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Devin Bernard- Featured February & March   - Thursday, January 20, 2011

My art is inspired by the profound mysteries of human existence which have confounded people since they developed the ability millions of years ago to become self aware and wonder about their relationship to the universe. Obviously, the answers to questions about this relationship are unknowable due to the limitations of our minds. Answers have been invented over the millennia through the creation of myths, legends, and religious dogma. For centuries, these myths have been represented by great artists through the use of allegories and symbols. Not being a great artist myself, I do the best I can by creating my own allegories to help me deal with questions of love, consciousness, and the endlessly perplexing question of why we even exist.

A reoccurring theme in my work is the enclosed garden with a meandering path which represents our individual lives that are also enclosed between birth and death and within which we journey. And often there is also a glimpse of the mystical cosmos in the form of stars, comets, and other celestial phenomena which can only be reached outside the bounds of the garden.

My influences from the past are Mogul paintings from India and early Renaissance and especially Northern Renaissance painting. I particularly admire artists such as Van der Goes, Van der Weyden, Hans Memling, and Rafael. Their images are finely detailed with a high and even tonal quality and jewel like colors. In their paintings, every detail is revealed to us; nothing is hidden. As in nature, we can ponder every leaf and flower, yet there is still a mystery hidden behind it that will never be revealed.

Artist’s biography

Devin Bernard was born in Fresno, CA and grew up in Portland. At the age of 20 he moved to Costa Rica with his family and ended up living and working there as a graphic designer for a total of 12 years. After returning to Portland in 1988, he began showing his paintings in several Portland galleries, including Raindance Gallery and Attic Gallery. He has worked for the last 20 years in a social service agency for Latino immigrants as a case manager. After recently leaving that profession, he has dedicated every available moment to his true passion, painting.