Lena Harris and the Leopard

Gary Bernstein is an American photographer best known for his portrait and editorial images of more than 200 celebrities and Fortune 100 corporate clients from Cartier to American Express. Over a career spanning four decades, he has published 8 books, including the classic "Burning Cold" which depicts Gary's photographs of Lena Harris combined with the prose of Elton John's lyricist, Bernie Taupin.
Gary graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Architecture, has received a Masters of Film from Brooks Institute, a Masters in Contemporary Art from The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., The Photographic Craftsman Degree from The Professional Photographers of America and The Gold Award from The Advertising Festival of New York City. He lives in California with his wife, Lena Harris, and their children.

Pigment ink printed onto Premium Matte Litho 200+years

Publisher: The Archives, LLC

In early 2014, photographer Gary Bernstein and The Archives, LLC collaborated to create a signed and numbered limited edition print series of images selected for an exclusive exhibition at the Grummans Gallery in Bethpage, New York. The Grummans Editions were the first signed, limited edition print run to feature the photographic works of Bernstein. The Grumman Editions spotlighted 22 of some of Bernstein's most provocative and intimate images. Unfortunately, the Grummans Gallery closed shortly after the Bernstein show opened.

Originally set for a limited edition print run of 15, the sudden closing of the gallery necessitated the need to cancel the Grummans Editions and left only 2 prints of each image created specifically for the exhibition; one set for Bernstein and the other for The Archives. Despite the closing of the Gallery and cancelling of the Bernstein exhibition, The Archives believes these stunning and unique works of a true American Original deserved to be shared with the public and are offering for sale these exclusive and rare prints.

In 1974, Gary Bernstein met his muse, the sensual and beautiful Lena Harris. A superstar model with the Eileen Ford Agency and later with The Wilhelmina Agency. Together they produced the classic book, "Burning Cold," which contains Gary's photographs of Lena combined with the prose of Elton John's lyricist, Bernie Taupin. Over the years their collaboration has resulted in images for collectors and many of the world's top clients. Lena Harris is now an author and a filmmaker, and her documentary, "Big Willie Robinson, Our Story, as Told by Sargent Bill Chaffin," premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

American Express and Cartier together commissioned Gary Bernstein and Lena Harris to produce a national advertisement for their companies. A baby lion and a baby leopard were brought in as Lena's co-stars. Each animal had an attention span of only a few shots before it became very playful. Consequently, the animals were shifted back and forth, repeatedly during the session. In the final analysis, not only did Lena have to pose herself, but she also had to position and pose the baby cats so as to display properly the Cartier emerald and diamond necklace.

This image from the session depicts the leopard cub wearing the Cartier million dollar jeweled collar. It also captures the feline appeal of Lena Harris which just may outshine that of the leopard's. The image was recorded with a Hasselblad el/m camera affixed with a 150mm f/4.0 Zeiss Sonnar lens on Kodak Plus-X 6x6 black and white negative film.

Culver City, California

About Gary Bernstein