C. Bedford's cultural influences growing up were far and wide, covering early years in Queens, N.Y., then on to Greenville, N.C., for the first of a few regional shocks. At 15, a move to York, Pa.: "The desolate demeanor of this place made even Greenville seem like it was hustling, and time slowed even more," says Bedford. The last five years have been spent with husband in tow in England.
"I feel much more suited here; I miss my family dearly, but I'm not sure how honest I would be if I said that I missed America too," Bedford says. "There are moments I miss, and people, but it's hard to say how much the actual place influenced my experiences. I guess it has, now that I think about it."
"Illustrating is now my current occupation. I do commissions for people who are after what my style can provide, which is, as probably noticeable, androgynous men. I also like to try and keep my work rooted in the old ways of painting, so I look up to a lot of historic masters — J.C. Leyendecker, Mucha, Lord Frederic Leighton," Bedford tells us.
Eventually, we were curious as to C. Bedford's gender, and this was the interesting reply: "I typically stay gender neutral online or when I'm not physically present at a place. This more has to do with people's perception of others and attaching those qualities to other things they do in life or what they create. And though my gender has affected how people treat me in the world (which would alter my own perceptions of how the world is); I also feel that my gender has little to do with the subjects of my work or why I choose to paint what I paint. It's not that I don't feel that I'm the correct birthed gender or anything, but rather I don't really understand what's so different about being male or female mentally. I've also had people in the past treat me differently or just automatically assumed things when they learned what gender I was, so I usually refrain. I think 'they' or 'them' would work fine. It's not that I'm trying to make a point or statement about gender, though this is a topic that comes up incredibly frequently given the nature of my work, so I suppose a point will be made regardless. My art is more important to me than my gender, and I think people should try to understand it for what it is, rather than trying to break it down by applying my physical attributes to 'decode' whatever it is I've made with stereotypes. I hope this isn't all confusing. I know it shouldn't be a big deal, but I've always had trouble physically associating myself with my work. I'm trying to get over this."
"The question 'Why do you paint your guys like that?' was the first thing I'd hear from anyone seeing my work for the first time. The androgynous nature of a lot of my work always seems to unsettle people. This was always the case, though."
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