Love Letter to Jeff Perone

Jeff Perone header.jpg

Subconsciously entering the post-modern era, Bernal retook the subjectivity of her body by way of photography. She wanted to create contemporary work but in the environment associated with classical and neoclassical paintings.


While translating various articles by Jeff Perone in Art Forum, Bernal wrote to him asking for permission to do so. She hoped to create an intellectual relationship by correspondence. Perone requested 100 dollars for the rights to publish, much more than the amount that Bernal would have been paid to publish the article. Predating I Love Dick by Chris Kraus, Bernal created “Love Letter to Jeff Perone”

It came to me and I did it impulsively. I wanted it to have a certain aesthetic. I didn’t think of the reaction, I didn’t think that I would get insulted so much.

The work was part of the exhibition The Photograph as document in the Conceptual Art of Barranquilla, curated by Álvaro Barrios, which then travelled throughout Colombia. The original disappeared after being shown in the Modern Art Museum in Bogotá. Most of Bernal’s work during this time has disappeared into the ether.

The letter reads:

Considering I cannot pay the asking price, I send you my declaration of love in response to your demands. Love and my best regard Delfina

In contrast to her earlier experience with the nude as a student, an undrawn line had been crossed. By using her body as the model and subject of the work, the response was not pleasant. Bernal was insulted by her co-workers, fellow artists, and her students for having posed nude.

1981 - 1990 >>