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I met Bernard at The Gallery at Round Top while I was having a show there.  He was introduced simply as a photographer and a friend of Karen’s and Ken’s.   He had brought in a portrait photo of them together each at his and her own easel.  When I saw the photo they were discussing, I realized that this fellow was not an ordinary photographer.  Bernard is an extraordinary man who is self-assured about his own identity.   I was immediately drawn to him.


“Being alive: the search that we make for this quality, in our lives, is the central search of any person.  It is the search for those moments and situations when we are most alive.”  This is opening statement on his website.

Bernard has spent a lifetime exploring the world of documentary photography and has been the recipient of accolades for his international reportage and documentary photography.

Mendoza states, “What particularly appeals to me about photography is its universal power as a language.  It is a constant challenge to be open-minded, to record what I see and not record what I want to see, to allow myself to be touched by my subject and not the other way round.” 

Much of Mendoza’s work deals with social issues, such as his highly acclaimed Portrait of a City Hospital, a photographic essay on health care in America that is now part of the permanent art collection for the City of Denver, and anthropological subjects such as From Generation to Generation a documentary on Hassidic communities in America which is now held by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Vaya en Paz (Go in Peace) the story of a community reclaiming its neighborhood from gangs and drug dealers in East Los Angeles, and The Projects are Dead, Long Live the Projects an essay that documents the demolition of the old gang-ridden projects as the residents move to newly built estates.

On the lighter side, he employed his dry English humor to produce Mutt ‘n Man about dogs and their owners, Benches which contrasts people sitting on benches and the advertisements on the benches, and El Prado which feature dance club hostesses in a little night club in Los Angeles.

He now works with his wife Marilyn on producing corporate documentaries and on personal projects that are collected and exhibited internationally.  He lectures and presents workshops on photography, reportage, and documentary creations at art centers and universities around the country.




The National Portrait Gallery, London

The National Portrait Gallery, Scotland

The Smithsonian Institute

The Royal Phographic Society, UK

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Denver Art Museum

Editions de la Tortue in Paris


University of Michigan Quarterly Review

M. I. L. K.

The Art Directors Index to Photographers

Denver Confluence of the Arts


The Gallery at Round Top


Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship

John Kobal Foundation Award for Portraiture (2)

Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Person’s Foundation Grant


Bernard Mendoza has an exhibit, “Seeing Life in Black and White,” at ARTS Ross Gallery in Fayetteville, Texas through May 25.