Jamie Bernard (1987-2010) was a prodigious young writer and artist who filtered contemporary culture through a prism of youth and alienation, supported by keen observation and a consuming passion for literature, history, and international affairs. His work, created as a teenager and young adult, invites us into a world where the individual is effaced and humanity revealed through ephemeral outcasts, scrutiny beyond superficial perception, and desperate escape.
Jamie’s doodles are of oddballs, criminals, and emissaries from strange lands. They are hard characters drawn with soft lines and smudges. They emerge from mundane places, like crumpled worksheets and planners, and by their mere presence call attention to the absurdity of everyday tools used to confine our lives and thoughts. They entertain us with a serious message.
Jamie’s paintings convey meanings through opposing yet harmonious layers as well. One has to look deeply and take time in order to understand. These pieces reward those who take a break from today’s 5-second consumerism to actually think and emotionally respond.
As Jamie emerged from an idyllic childhood, he increasingly felt out of place in his world. His keen intellect and voracious reading was paired with an uncanny ability to intuit the human condition. Kindness towards everyone he met tempered his inclination to wield biting humor against his cultural foes. Ultimately his creativity became a form of passive dissent against cultures of conformity and superficiality in order to elevate the individual.
Jamie’s creative spirit lives on as the inspiration behind POBA. Jamie’s family wanted to recognize his talents, celebrate his life and passions, and use his creative legacy to inspire, recognize and support the contributions of other deceased artists of all stripes and talents. The James Kirk Bernard Foundation, a non-profit organization, supports the development of POBA. The Bernard family looks forward to using the POBA site to add other works of Jamie’s, including his many writings, and apply editing, curation and recording tools to convey Jamie’s talents to the larger world.