32;DECEMBER ;;;; NJMONTHLY.COM
;;;;;; ;;;;;;; ;;;;;;; got his start as
an ;;th grader. Carefully copying from a
book of Old English calligraphy, he created a special certificate at the request
of his classmates. “It wasn’t even with a
calligraphy pen,” he recalls. The next day,
Maisner’s father brought home ink, pens
and calligraphy books. Maisner, now ;;,
hasn’t stopped creating since.
In time, Maisner developed an elaborately flourished style of lettering. “It
wasn’t traditional calligraphy, and that’s
what set me apart,” he says. “Most calligraphers are taught certain styles and
then adhere to what they’ve been taught.
Since I am an artist, I go out on limbs.”
You’ve probably seen Maisner’s work.
He designed the lettering for Whitney
Houston’s first album, then did similar
work for Carly Simon and Mick Jagger.
Other lettering clients included Lexus,
Absolut Vodka and Converse. He created
logos for Spiegel, Revlon’s Revolutionary
campaign and others. “Every assignment, I was creating a new styling for
something,” he says.
Maisner is also in demand for movies. Or more precisely, his hands are
in demand—when Hollywood needs a
closeup of a florid signature. His hands
have stood in for Daniel Day-Lewis’s in
the Age of Innocence and Johnny Depp’s
in Sleepy Hollow, among others.
The artist and his wife, Bonnie
Behrman, a dancer and musician, left
New York for Bay Head ;; years ago.
She opened the Bay Head School of Bal-
let and Violin on the first floor of their
Victorian home; he set up his studio
on the second. Soon, Maisner’s artistic
focus began to shift. “With computers,
typefaces became digitized,” he says.
“Everything became a font.”
Applying his talent in a new direc-
tion, Maisner developed a line of
stationery; he also creates custom cards
and invitations. Earlier this year, he
launched a collection of bedding sets
(duvets, sheets and pillows), towels and
bath mats. For the collection, Maisner’s
engraved, hand-painted stationery
images are “translated into fine em-
broidery,” he says. Images include the
elephant, peacock, butterfly and Mais-
ner’s distinctive calligraphic flourishes.
“Thread becomes my ink,” he says, “and
linen my paper.”—Lauren Payne
● FINE ART
EN IN HAND
a grapher Bernard
M sner has applied
s aborate lettering
o verything from a
h ey Houston album
o new collection of