“Everything makes sense, even if I don’t make sense of everything” – Bernard Pineau.
WAS THERE A PIVOTAL MOMENT WHEN YOU DECIDED TO FOLLOW YOUR PATH AS AN ARTIST?
“When I had sufficient material, I stopped my non-artistic professional activities. For several years, I started by satisfying my spiritual thirst to visit the sacred places of India and meet sages in ashrams. After responding to my spiritual craving, I found that this was the end of my Yin period. It became urgent and vital for me to start a Yang period with my second passion, painting. I moved from reception to creation and expression”.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK FOR US?
“Often expressionist because I try to transcribe my emotions so that they resonate with others. The colors must sing, surprise, and awaken.
Naive sometimes because a sketch, a spontaneous and immediate line can be enough. I like the immediacy and the ancient Asian and European traditions of drawing on paper.
Symbolic, symbols are a powerful language of our consciences.
Poetic, to escape reality and an era that is too functional. We are only told about money, power relations, violence, and acquisitions as if the important thing is to have when we want to be. We are here to grow”.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK AIM TO SAY?
“I seek to illustrate words of wisdom, spiritual and religious traditions, essential issues of our time, etc.
This is a spirit of humility, sharing, and tolerance. My works are intended as food for souls and wellbeing for places of life. My paintings are like Tibetan prayer flags. They spread thoughts and words of kindness and soothing wisdom. Modestly they are mantras and tantras for me. We subconsciously bathe in a field of information and energy. It may be the Atma, the Qchi, or the Holy Spirit,…? Still, we must not let this field deteriorate in our cities with the violent tags of hatred and anger, nor in our homes with the violent images of the videos. It would seem that violence is more telegenic than wisdom; I prefer silence to noise, stillness to movement, and meditation to agitation. I am surprised that some pass too quickly in the exhibitions. Let’s see the paintings as a medium of mediation and a delicious and nourishing spectacle for the soul”.
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR WORK FITS WITHIN SOCIETY IN OUR PRESENT TIME?
“I do not know. In our time, our societies are fragmented and subject to excessive tensions and violence, in my opinion, because we let our egos take over our lives. Egos divide while consciences bring union. If my work can help some to understand the dangers of their egos better and to begin to control them, then it is already good. In particular, we begin to see better what brings us together and put into perspective what sets us apart”.
WHEN LOOKING BACK, WHAT ARTWORKS COME TO MIND THAT MOST RELATE TO YOUR LIFE STORY?
“My Childhood is Zola or Les Miserables, first the diptych D206 Evasion, which evokes my adolescence and my father who begins to sink H132 Lost father; H088 Raymond, a fusion construction between my father and my grandfather, all very idealized; H126 Childhood opposite; H080 Krodha, Anger. These few paintings helped me heal, understand and forgive the pain of Childhood.
The following series allowed me to understand and forgive the wounds of the professional world, the privileged terrain of the balance of power between egos:
The 6 Ripus
The 7 human types”
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
“They are numerous because I studied painting in self-training for decades. My two passions, spirituality and painting, appeared early in this existence and have never left me. Sometimes I had fun making evocations and nods in paintings to the outstanding painters to whom we are heirs. But I can name those I like to call by their first names: Bernard Buffet, for all of his work and for his technique and the quality of the line; Henri Matisse, for the colors, the audacity, the subjugated forms; Pablo Picasso, for the genius, audacity, courage, diversity, and immensity of his work; Jean Michel Basquiat, for innovation, audacity, and suffering; Maurice de Vlaminck, for the emotion of the landscapes and the innovation of Fauvism; Nicolas Roerich, for symbolism and spirituality; Marc Chagall, for his poetry and his uprooting and his powerful spirituality; Chaïm Soutine, for the tragedy of his life and work; Oscar Kokoschka, and his torments; Vincent Van Gogh for whom I have a special affection; Francis Bacon and his quest and despair and so many others”.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
“My first painting H001 Depth summarized my state of mind when I started: I was going to draw on my memory. My memories, my wounds, by letting my conscience express itself and limiting my mind as much as possible. Convinced that the chronology made sense, I immediately chronologically numbered my works. I saw the importance of the elements emerge, with an omnipresent ocean, a protective forest, friendly trees, and symbolic animals. My readings and my meditations quickly took over to make me illustrate the sparks of wisdom perceived and the great spiritual and religious traditions.
Curiously, I don’t have the feeling of choosing the subjects of the paintings. Everything seems to jostle to appear in lines and colors. I am often the first to be surprised. Some paintings came to fruition quickly and always stayed the same. On the contrary, others are the result of painstaking work over several years. For example, in 2022, my conscience forced me to realize what my mind refused, a series on the fabulous Christian holy history”.
WHAT VISUAL REFERENCES DO YOU DRAW UPON IN YOUR WORK?
“I do not know. Meaning is more important than form to me. So I can do more naive than symbolic without a problem. Besides, I don’t know if you can say I have a style. What I do know, however, is that I am always in my Dharma, my accuracy, and my sincerity”.
ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS?
“I do not know. The ideas are many; I would like to succeed in illustrating the primary spiritual laws and thus showing the difference between physical laws and how incomprehensible they are for the ego. For example:
to give is to receive
to ask is to recognize
to lead is to serve; etc
A sage said, “Just as the blind cannot see the sun, the selfish cannot see the Atma“, and a shaman said, “Don’t let what you already know get in the way of what you might know” and Teilhard de Chardin “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings having a human experience”.”