Underwater Requiem

Solo exhibition | James Fuentes Gallery | New York | 2017

Underwater Requiem featured a selection of artificial plants, as well as a fragrance and an original requiem, which was piped into the gallery from a concealed space behind one of the walls. The exhibition also included ten Crayola crayon drawings that were inspired by Rudolph Valentino’s melodramatic relationships with an various women. One of these relationships caused him to be imprisoned for bigamy. Several years later, the same relationship was chronicled in a book that Valentino was said to have co-written from beyond the grave, via séance, following his sudden death in 1926.

Missing Target

Group exhibition | Kai Matsumiya Gallery | New York | 2021

The 22"x30" Crayola crayon drawing Amelia Earhart Eaten By Crabs was framed inside a glossy, monochrome border, composed of OSHA compliant anti-suffocation labels.

Female Anatomy

Solo exhibition | Curated by Gilles Heno-Coe | New York | 2022

From the press release:

Female Anatomy collects 10 works made between 2017 and 2018, featuring a selection of women and charismatic female mammals. Thematically, the works are united by Bergman’s interest in the relationship between the intangible nature of personal magnetism and the concrete, technical language of raw anatomy.

Each work in this show is made solely with Crayola crayons, prominently foregrounding the materiality of wax, which is meticulously applied in successive layers. Wax is a substance with both practical and symbolic resonance for Bergman, given its long association with practices of physical preservation, rituals of remembrance, and negotiations with the afterlife.

Several works in Female Anatomy spotlight the face of Pola Negri, one of the most idolized and controversial celebrities of the silent film era. In two of these drawings, her features are magnified, abstracted, and positioned next to renderings of Fiona the hippo who, at the time these drawings were made, was not only the stylish young belle of the Cincinnati Zoo, but also a global internet sensation. Behind Fiona lies a beige background, lightly textured with illustrations of hippopotamus bone structure that were directly transposed from an 18th century German textbook of animal anatomy.

Other women in this exhibition include Wallis Simpson, Jean Acker, and Julia Child—the iconic television chef, who is shown cradling the body of a pigeon. Wallis Simpson is also depicted in the company of pigeons, whose historical trajectory from fashionable pets of the aristocracy to mangy vermin resonates enigmatically with Simpson’s notorious role in the abdication of King Edward VIII.

In Triptych of the Injured Foot, Bergman brings the overarching theme of Female Anatomy to a literal conclusion, presenting a melodrama of an actual episode of anatomical crisis. The narrative aspect of this work employs a pictorial language echoing the tradition of biblical altarpieces and incorporates several motifs loosely inspired by hagiographic depictions of the life of Saint Anthony of Padua.