Reflections

Feeling Reality

Eléonore Bernair - Feeling reality: 
It seems entirely natural to feel fascinated when looking at Eléonore Bernair's seascape paintings. In an instant, a kind of magnetic pull catapults the viewer deep into the mystery of the powers of nature and at the same time high into altitudes where one easily believes to hear the magic buzz of heaven. The elements of nature seem to be bursting of energy, yet there is a supernatural air around, as if not from this world. The song of the wind and the roll of the sea mix with the whisper of legends of the myths of creation, a sensation that appears to be deeply woven into every centimeter of the paintings. Someone who could not see Bernair's seas might be bewildered about such broad words and possibly suspect them to be from the late nineteenth century, but no, i am writing them right now and these paintings are modern. In fact, very modern. Well - timeless. And now, that you see them, I guess you agree that Eleonore Bernair´s proud statement of reality can cope with even the biggest stage: That´s what is. It´s all yours. Love it! Hyperrealism is the name of this genre of painting. Hyper, because of its intensity, realism, because it appreciates just what there is - a worship of the here and now. 

Very modern, because as much as Bernair's work visibly integrates tradition, it also seems to point somewhere ahead in time, as art should do, revealing schemes of the shape of the plant that time seeds right now. Tradition refers also to history of painting, and in this case one is reminded of the rich technique and opulent aesthetics of symbolist and preraffaelite painters of the nineteenth century, but right, instead of pathetic stories of tragically failed loves or dead heroes, all victims of fate, in Bernair's imagery there is not a single trace of human intervention. She offers her universe pure, no personal hangup wants to bias the viewer. He will always be the first human to discover it again and again, virgin and complete at the same time. The world is mine - I am responsible! That is indeed very a modern statement. And a statement of autonomy. This way, it is the painting that counts, the making of it, the burning of the brushtip when it touches the canvas. No mental concept to illustrate, no smart idea that wants to convince or even teach the viewer. Here, painting is not servant of an analytic mind or a sentimentally straying soul, it simply stands for itself. Intention, image, feeling and technique, all do the same. 

Yes, of course, solid figurative oil painting requires that you know what you are doing. And when you want it to be humming of that magnetic electricity you also need to really feel what you are doing. No doubt, Bernair knows very well what she is doing. All through her life, she dedicated herself to drawing and painting with deep commitment, thoroughly studying mainly traditional approaches. As usual in figurative painting, after miles of experience, the so called moment of takeoff comes, that is the moment, when all the borrowed experience of generations of painters melt together to a new autonomous form of expression, that of your self. Looking at this, in Eléonore Bernairs paintings I claim to discover a painter of unusual magnitude: on one side a daring masculine brushstroke, a determination in approach that can make most guys look poor, a smart, no fuzz handling of her tools. On the other side a velvety softness of tone and mix and a deeply feminine sense of poetry, the furies and fairies always seem to dance above the waves. Every drop of water seems alive. Reality with feeling. Well, there is only one way to really feel what one is doing. It is love.