As in everything, (and Indian philosophy illustrates this particularly well), there are multiple
aspects in my approach.
Talking about your artistic approach when you are a painter is a challenge. Indeed, if we
paint it is precisely because we do not know how to say in words what we need to express.
Probably because the painting expresses multiple, interlocking, even mysterious elements.
Painting offers everyone the possibility of multiple interpretations. A Taoist sage would say
this is a mirror effect. Painting is a noble and meditative art. In our age of zapping and video,
it goes against the grain. Yet it is essential to embellish our lives and nourish our souls.
To begin with, what I’m trying to express is a simple, intimate, accessible, personal sense of
the sacred. Not a sacred monumental or imposing as in previous eras, where religions
commanded artists who became artisans. A sacred human, present in all of us, or perhaps
only in most of us. This sacred which is one of the expressions of our consciousness. (This
consciousness wrongly called subconscious in psychoanalysis). This sacred that lodges in us,
in its interior house, its temple. This sacredness which leads us to respect for the living world
and even to an immoderate love for the living (one of the bases of Buddhism). A sacred
accessible therefore, which questions itself, which is in constant search of truth, of
fragments of truth. What feeds our wisdom.
We could therefore call it a human sacred art or an accessible sacred art.
This innate feeling of a sacred nature led me to explore different belief systems:
So I could define myself as a curious and tolerant Christian artist.
We are very lucky in our time because the world has become a village and knowledge is even
more accessible. Everyone can therefore see and verify that this sacred is expressed in all
religions (and also outside religions), in the form of wisdom, devotion and altruistic service.
This sacredness concerns our humanity and not (or little) our beliefs. This sacred human art
teaches us quickly enough that we are like Russian dolls. We are made up of several
envelopes inhabited and animated by our consciousness, the Koshas.
Second, my artistic approach consists in letting my consciousness express itself as much as
possible by limiting the manifestations of my mind as much as possible. So most of my
paintings are made without preparatory work and without models. A bit like abstract art.
However, my consciousness is expressed beforehand in a meditation session. My conscience
demands meaning and a certain realism which may seem naive or simplistic. In fact,
consciousness always expresses itself in symbolic multi-meaning language. Each painting is
created and experienced like a dream, a journey. Done in a few hours, the hardest part is
knowing how to stop. We must know how to accept our imperfections. Then I stare at the
new painting for a long time, for hours, days, sometimes weeks. Until it speaks to me, until
it tells me what my conscience wanted to express. Then, and only then, I write a short text
of commentaries and above all I name it, I baptize it. To name is to create. (In the beginning
was the verb.)
Given this approach, which can be summed up by: meditating, painting, observing, naming,
it seemed necessary to me never to modify a painting. This turned out to be very
presumptuous. In 2019, I developed my technique by using the power of the line with
markers. So now it’s about oil paints and sometimes markers.
Third, from the start of my painting adventure, my conscience wanted it to be also (and
above all?) A spiritual journey. A spiritual and artistic journey, I had to keep track of the
sequence, the succession of paintings, because everything makes sense. How would that
evolve? Where will this path lead me? I always have a quote from the Buddha “The goal is
unspeakable, only the path is visible”. This necessary memory led me to number the tables
chronologically. So they constitute a sibling because at the level of my consciousness they
are alive. My first painting is called “H001 Profondeur”, it evokes this plunge into depths and
the relationship between consciousness and memory.
Finally, fourth, it is an approach that I would describe as an alchemist or a Taoist. What these
two cosmologies have in common is that everything is related and everything makes sense.
They also affirm the importance of the elements. It is a synthetic view of consciousness
unlike the mind which is mostly analytical. Our consciousness brings together and unites, our
mind separates and divides. My approach is alchemist because any modification to the
exterior (the paintings) has an impact on the interior (my interior temple). But also, any
observer of the paintings will also be impacted. In India, they call it an Upaguru. An Upagaru
is neither a sage, nor any spiritual or religious authority, it is an event or an object in a
general way which, suddenly, suddenly triggers in you the comprehension, the spark of truth
which you were missing to understand a subject. We are destined to grow and some paintings
may be Upagurus for you.
All images © Bernard Pineau
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CURATOR | Joelcy Kay