New photographic exhibition to demystify BDSM and counteract taboos

Opening at the Black Eye Gallery in March, as part of Sydney Art Month, BDSM features 16 engaging and intimate portraits of very different BDSM practitioners.

Through these portraits, fine art and advertising photographer Simon Bernhardt attempts to dispel the stereotypes that surround BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission and sadomasochism) and tell the story of ordinary people at ease in their own skin or behind their masks.

BDSM will open just 2 days before Sydney’s Mardi Gras Festival, matching the theme of everyday people exploring their own sexual identity.

“There is a certain misconception associated with BDSM – that practitioners are somehow perverted and guilty of abhorrent fetishes. BDSM showcases practitioners on a journey of sexual discovery, while allowing people to learn more about how they came to be excited by things outside “mainstream” sexual expression,” said Bernhardt.

A limited edition book will be released to accompany the exhibition, allowing the Australian public to learn more about how each subject came to be involved and influenced in the BDSM scene. The book will feature first person accounts of their experiences and journeys, which avoid objectification and allow a fresh and unique insight into a community that most people have little understanding of.

The exhibition and accompanying book seeks to celebrate and document these participants and their unique sexual identities by breaking taboos and confronting misunderstandings about what we think goes on behind closed doors.

BDSM by Simon Bernhardt runs from March 3rd to March 17th at the Black Eye Gallery in Darlinghurst.

For more on Simon Bernhardt check out his Facebook and Instagram