OLIVIA (DE BERARDINIS) (1948-)
"Study For Let Them Eat Cake"
15" x 20", Gouache on Paper 11193
Olivia De Berardinis (1948-)
Olivia De Berardinis was born in Long Beach, California in 1948 but spent most of her childhood on the East Coast. Her father, Sante De Berardinis, was a freelance aeronautical engineer, and his work kept Olivia's family constantly on the move. Being the only child, Olivia lived in an adult world where she spent much of her time drawing. Olivia's playful, flirtatious mother, Connie, served as her favorite model and muse.
In 1967 she attended the New York School of Visual Arts. Over the next few years she took waitressing jobs to pay the rent but continued to paint and began to show her work, primarily minimalist oils on canvas. By 1974 financial pressures caused Olivia to seek out commercial art work, and so she returned to the skills she had gained as a child, painting beautiful women for periodicals and paperback publishers. In a short time Olivia secured regular work painting erotic fantasies for men's magazines.
In 1975, Olivia met Joel Beren, and they were married four years later. Living on Manhattan's Upper West Side, they developed a small publishing business, primarily printing Olivia's work as greeting cards. They also created another company to license Olivia's artwork.
This newfound confidence and support led to new opportunity. In the next few years her success flourished when she met Robert and Tamara Bane in 1984. They loved her work and in the next 15 years would put on fourteen one-woman shows through the years at their galleries, and many graphic editions. She also had shows in San Francisco, Tokyo, New York, and more.
After this time period, she was led to a new start and moved to 1987 with her husband. This eventually connected her with Playboy, perhaps the highest tier publication of her style. Olivia developed a close relationship with Hugh Hefner and the publication as a whole. Her work was featured frequently.
Olivia and her husband still reside in Los Angeles, and she is still actively working.