Not even a nipple showing, and yet Alva Bernadine continues to evoke submission, smut, and something more disturbing in his newest series of photos.
There is certainly a mood evoked in his works which extends beyond sexual fantasy and the visual tropes of submission/domination/voyeurism/titillation.
Is it a domestic despair, an ennui, or perhaps a disillusionment with the artifice of the beauty myth which permeates the subjects of his ostensibly straightforward fetish shots?
‘There is always an odd event in my pictures and a certain tension.’ – Alva Bernadine.
Perhaps they are merely the artefacts of a pornographer – a title Bernadine embraces enthusiastically, even if his images are more meticulously contrived than the standard. Nevertheless, in these images, bored acquiescence is portrayed as a virtue rather than an unwanted occupational hazard.
In his own words: ‘My work is self-indulgent without being impenetrable.’
Which doesn’t mean it’s not interpretable.