Bernardo Pitanguy began his art studies by unraveling the mysteries of oil painting with Mara Vasconcelos at the age of seven. At nine, he went to Switzerland to study. There, for a long time he coexists with the humanistic values that were an integral part of his education. His artistic temperament led him first to the theater, later to music and, finally, to painting, where he found his path.
In the new generation of painters, Bernardo Pitanguy represents the fruit of a maturation in which the search for harmony with nature and artistic sensibility are constants. The colors in the surrealist shapes and mystical symbols of his abstract work emanate a vibrant energy.
Bernardo Pitanguy: Painting charged with meaning
“As a painter, Bernardo Pitanguy is, first and foremost, a mystic. There is mysticism in every stroke he commits to canvas or paper, as he seeks to lead his painting to a level higher than that of just another work of art. Evidently, there can be no doubt that the work of art imposes itself immediately. Even a historically important painter such as Cézanne, whose painting changed the canons of art to all intents and purposes, knew full well what he was saying when he proclaimed that “art puts one into a state of grace.
So it is by working hard at painting and drawing that Bernardo Pitanguy seeks to elevate himself to this state of grace, a goal that doubtless affords his work a spontaneity and spirited quality that are viscerally coherent with his own ideals.
That is not saying much of a young artist who felt the calling of art at the age of seven, when he began to be interested in coloring pencils, paintbrushes and their respective supports, under the guidance of the painter Mara Vasconcelos. Painting was not yet a vocation, though, for during the course of his education, the artist would consider both the theater and music as possible means of artistic expression, perfectly understandable for one who consolidated humanistic values in an education undertaken entirely in Switzerland.
Bernardo Pitanguy is a prolific painter, which is to say that he is always standing before a canvas or a blank sheet of paper in search of the initial stroke. Every artist knows that the beginning of a work is always the hardest part of any creation. It could not be otherwise with Pitanguy. Having chosen to paint in the abstract idiom while simultaneously allowing himself to be conducted by certain images that juxtapose themselves, his paintings seek principally to transmit life. Almost all of them contain an explosion of symbolic shapes that somehow bear witness to his spirituality and lead the observer to that very life which the author, in truth, seeks to represent.
As we all know, a work of art is more than mere symbolic representation, but one cannot disassociate it from this context when its content is seeking precisely such a goal. Symbolism and mysticism therefore permeate the work of the young painter who attempts to communicate artistically through it.
To this gestural painter who expands his private universe in thick brushstrokes and small touches and stains, simultaneously abstract and figurative, color is the most highlighted element of his work, something which is even clearer because he is a painter who lives in as intensely luminous a country as Brazil. In Bernardo Pitanguy, color is never quite lush. It is, in fact, quite contained, for it serves both form and content.
Profuse cabalistic content is perfectly integrated in the making of themes proposed. The careful observer may notice, for instance, that the first letter of the artist´s name is a recurrent element in these compositions, as are allegorical symbols such as fish, kites, the sun and the number seven, all of them, however, in a representational sense, inserted as they are within his personal manner of expressing sentiments that, in reality, are no more than the essence of Life. So it is: Bernardo Pitanguy´s work praises life, the emotion that emanates from it; ultimately, the joy of living.
A contemporary painter who numbers Miró and Kandinsky among his visual references, Pitanguy is a Brazilian artist who challenges his own ability to create. This first large show reveals him as a mature master of his craft, and serves to demonstrate the power of his vocabulary as well as the benefits of his earlier shows both in Brazil and abroad.
Bernardo Pitanguy is an artist in progress.”
Geraldo Edson de Andrade Member, Brazilian Association of Art Critics de 2005