The Man Who Made Everyone Look Famous: Richard Bernstein and His Iconic Interview Covers

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If you are a fan of pop art and celebrity culture, you have probably seen the work of Richard Bernstein. He was the artist behind the striking covers of Interview Magazine for almost 20 years, from 1972 to 1989. His portraits of stars like Madonna, Grace Jones, Mick Jagger, Cher, Michael Jackson and many others captured their glamour, charisma and personality with a distinctive style that blended realism and fantasy.


Richard Bernstein was born in New York City in 1939 and studied at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design. He started his career as a commercial illustrator, working for magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and The New York Times. He also created album covers for artists like Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand and The Rolling Stones.

But his big break came when he met Andy Warhol, the king of pop art and the founder of Interview Magazine. Warhol was impressed by Bernstein’s talent and invited him to join his circle of friends and collaborators. Warhol also gave him the opportunity to create the cover art for his magazine, which featured interviews with celebrities from various fields of entertainment, art, fashion and politics.

Bernstein’s cover art for Interview Magazine was a perfect match for Warhol’s vision. He used a technique called “airbrushing”, which involved spraying paint over a photograph to create a smooth and flawless surface. He then added details like glitter, jewels, lipstick and eyelashes to enhance the features of his subjects. He also used bright colors and bold contrasts to create a dramatic effect. His covers were not just portraits, but statements of style and attitude.

His covers became synonymous with Interview Magazine and its reputation as “The Crystal Ball of Pop” in the 1970s. His covers were also influential in shaping the image and identity of the celebrities he portrayed. He made them look larger than life, glamorous and iconic. He made them look famous.

Richard Bernstein died in 2002 at the age of 62, leaving behind a legacy of stunning images that defined an era of pop culture. His work is still admired and celebrated today by fans and collectors around the world. He was an artist who knew how to capture the essence of a star with a single glance. He was an artist who made everyone look famous.


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