In his signature white Ray-Bans that are a dead giveaway to his philosophical and artistic flair, Bernd speaks of his art as if it were a metaphor for life: “You can’t know everything, so you have to trust in the unknown…your choices, sometimes you don’t know if you’re making misjudgments but even those have a reason.” Thus his spontaneous move to NYC from his home of Hamburg, Germany in the ’70s with his first night spent at the infamous CBGB’s and his passion for taking on overwhelmingly gigantic living spaces, where he slowly transforms them into his own magically raw lair that become for him just another work of art. “I work with distressed things and I bring it to a point where everything comes together out of building and destruction. It comes from essence, that’s why it’s all interesting.” When making his monumental installations, if things are too easy, “the artwork doesn’t hold by itself.” It’s all about the process and if things don’t work out at first, they’ll come out better in the end, Bernd feels.
Things just happen, Bernd says when referring to his aesthetic. I am as obsessed with his chandeliers all over the floor and tables as I am with his use of two scarves at once, which he wears with his cashmere blazers and coats. Even as he apologized for his good clothes being packed away while things were under construction, he kept coming out in things like a red Issey Miyake suit from the ’80s and not just your “everyday” red fedora that he wears with all winter white – I can only imagine what was stored in the suitcases.