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“I have always been driven by two passions: spirituality and painting… I am convinced that I am following my Dharma.”

Embarking on a Spiritual Odyssey

Bernard Pineau, a native of Royan, better known by his artist name BPineau, was born in 1951 in France. He invites us into his world where spirituality and painting intertwine, shaping a journey that transcends mere artistic endeavor. Raised in an environment marked by poverty and atheism, BPineau’s early life was far from ordinary. Despite these challenging beginnings, a profound spiritual appetite blossomed within him, guiding him towards an insatiable quest for wisdom and understanding. This quest led BPineau to immerse himself in the study of various spiritual traditions, from Taoism to shamanism, alongside his passion for painting. His educational and professional journey, which saw him obtaining an engineering degree and holding various management positions, seemed to run parallel to, yet distinctly separate from, his spiritual and artistic pursuits. It wasn’t until his pilgrimages to India between 2000 and 2011, where he stayed in ashrams and absorbed the sacred energies, that his artistic phase truly began to flourish.

BPineau’s transition from a period of introspective assimilation to one of prolific creation marks a pivotal point in his life. From 2014 onwards, he has been in a phase of intense artistic output, driven by a belief in the interconnectedness and vitality of all things. His exploration of diverse spiritual texts and doctrines has not only deepened his understanding but also reinforced his intuitive conviction that everything is imbued with meaning. This profound spiritual foundation has significantly influenced his artistic style and choice of themes, positioning him in a unique niche where expressionism meets pop art, all while exploring the depths of spiritual and philosophical inquiry.

BPineau: The Genesis of an Artist

How does one become an artist? For BPineau, it wasn’t a choice but a calling that merged his two lifelong passions: spirituality and painting. Despite the material constraints imposed by his upbringing, BPineau nurtured these passions in secrecy, waiting for the right moment to express them fully. This moment came after his transformative experiences in India, leading to the establishment of his first workshop in 2014. Here, BPineau embarked on a frenetic period of artistic production, creating several hundred oils on canvas and paper, driven by a deep-seated need to express his spiritual journey. This period marked the beginning of BPineau’s professional career as an artist, where he began to share his vision with the world, convinced of his path as his Dharma.

BPineau’s reluctance to define his artistic style underscores the fluidity and diversity of his work. Straddling between expressionism and pop art, his creations serve as invitations to introspection, meditation, and an inner journey. Themes of spirituality and wisdom pervade his artwork, reflecting his lifelong quest for meaning and understanding. BPineau’s approach to his workspace and creative process further illustrates his unique path as an artist. Preferring the solitude and focus of his studio, he engages in a dual creative process that involves both spontaneous paper works and more deliberate canvases. This method allows him to explore themes and expressions freely, without the constraints of reality or the anxiety of a blank canvas. BPineau’s journey from a spiritually curious child to a prolific artist is a testament to the power of patience, passion, and persistence in the pursuit of one’s true calling.

Influences That Mold the Canvas

BPineau’s artistic journey is as much a narrative of individual exploration as it is a dialogue with the past. Despite a self-taught path that spanned decades, BPineau humbly positions himself alongside the grand masters of painting, drawing inspiration from a lineage of artists renowned for their mastery and innovation. His reverence for figures such as Bernard Buffet, Maurice de Vlaminck, and Pablo Picasso, to name a few, is less about stylistic imitation and more about inheriting a legacy of creative freedom. BPineau’s relationship with these historical figures is personal and intimate, viewing them not just as influences but as companions in his artistic endeavor. This connection underlines his independent spirit and the subject-driven approach that characterizes his style. Rather than adhering to commercial trends or stylistic constraints, BPineau’s work is a reflection of his inner journey, where each painting becomes a medium of discovery and self-expression. The themes he chooses are devoid of commercial consideration, focusing instead on the essence of being and the spiritual dialogue he wishes to engage with his audience.

One artwork that stands out in BPineau’s oeuvre is a small format oil painting titled “H064F12 Fathers,” which delves into the complex relationships between fathers and their children, both in a temporal and spiritual sense. This piece, linked closely to his own experiences with his father and childhood, symbolizes the search for support and understanding in a world often marked by indifference. The depiction of an old child reaching out to an indifferent father, against the backdrop of Buddhist monks, encapsulates BPineau’s personal struggles and his spiritual journey towards enlightenment and companionship. This painting, considered too intimate for public viewing initially, reveals the depth of BPineau’s introspection and his ability to convey profound emotional and spiritual narratives through his art.

BPineau: The Quest for Medium and Mastery

BPineau’s choice of medium is as deliberate as his thematic focus, favoring the intensity and elemental energy of oil painting over the fluidity of water-based media. His preference for oil paints is tied to a broader philosophical and spiritual alignment with the yang energy of fire, reflecting his desire to capture not just the vibrancy of color but also the transformative power of creation. BPineau’s experimentation with various supports, including linen canvases, paper, and even glass, demonstrates his willingness to explore and push the boundaries of his medium. The use of glass, in particular, is inspired by his admiration for the stained glass windows of Catholic churches, indicating his appreciation for the interplay of light, color, and spirituality.

As BPineau continues to evolve and expand his artistic horizons, he dreams of bringing his work to a global stage, with invitations to exhibit in major cities around the world. These opportunities, while requiring significant resources, align with his belief in the importance of solo exhibitions as platforms for deeper engagement with his work. BPineau’s aspirations reflect not just a desire for recognition but a commitment to sharing his spiritual and artistic journey with a wider audience. His approach to art and life is encapsulated in the advice of a wise man who counseled against small ambitions, reminding us that the pursuit of greatness requires no less effort than that of modest goals. In this light, the work of BPineau is not just an artistic endeavor but a testament to the pursuit of meaning, understanding, and connection in an ever-changing world.

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