Petit, Bernard

Bernard Petit (born 1984, Nassau, The Bahamas) was raised in New Providence, Bahamas and has immediate origins on the Caribbean island of Haiti. Petit was formally trained as a painter, but his practice has developed to include performance, screenplays and film-making.

Petit started drawing at the age of four and remembers his father having to purchase crayons and drawing materials every weekend to keep up with Bernard and his brother Jackson, who would use them up in less than a week. At A.F. Adderley Junior High School, Petit was inspired by teacher Jemma Antonio and went on to C.V. Bethel Senior High in 1998 where Sandra Illingworth became his mentor. He completed his Associates Degree in Art at The College of The Bahamas, and from 1998 to 2002 he participated in The Annual FINCO Summer Art Workshops with the encouragement of Antonius Roberts. In 2006, he won the first place prize for The Central Bank Annual Art Competition in the Open Category.

Color is the key to understanding Petit's perspective. His color-theory training began at College of The Bahamas's 2D theory class taught by artist Sue-Bennett Williams and has been central to his practice ever since. Like the Fauvists, Petit favors brilliant and emotive colors over representational values. His unexpected pallet describes refracted portraits and landscapes.

In 2008, Bernard and his brother Jackson started the company Small Art Pictures, funded through The Bahamas' Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s Self Starter Business Program. Through their company, the Petit brother's created their own short films and produced commercial projects.