Bora Bora Art Gallery

Alain Despert

About The Artist

Internationally renowned contemporary artist ALAIN DESPERT lived and worked from his BORA BORA ART GALLERY | ARTIST STUDIO . His paintings are collected around the world. Despert's work has been included in many collections along with Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Robert Lichtenstein, Jim Dine and other notable artists. Visits are by private appointment only. Karen, Alain's wife and partner for 30 years, welcomes you to come and experience his artistic journey.

Bora Bora Artist Alain Despert - 7 min. introduction

Alain Despert (June 6, 1943 - February 14, 2024, Brittany, France) was a French-American artist. He was raised post-war in St. Nazaire and educated later in Strasbourg. Afterwards, he served in the French Navy. He lived several years in the southern regions of Provence and the Cote d’Azur before moving to the island of Bora Bora in 1986.

It was the beauty of the South Pacific that first inspired Despert’s creative talent. His bright and colorful paintings of everyday life in French Polynesia soon caught the eye of many, including the editor of Town & Country magazine and famed Hollywood photographer, Slim Aarons, who were visiting Bora Bora to prepare a story on the island.  Slim photographed Despert surrounded by his paintings which was included in the article.  As interest in Alain Despert’s work increased, his hobby quickly turned into a full-time profession. He was persuaded to move to New York City to pursue his artist’s dream.

In 1990,  shortly after his arrival in New York, Despert was discovered by the legendary marketing genius from Absolut vodka and included in the famous worldwide advertising campaign. His image of the Absolut bottle floating in the lagoon of Bora Bora appeared in international magazines such as Arts & Antiques and Connoisseur. The original Absolut Despert is now at the Museum of Wine and Spirits in Stockholm, Sweden. Alain Despert’s paintings have exhibited coast-to-coast in the United States including: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Santa Fe and many other major cities. His work is collected throughout the entire world and his paintings have been selected for prestigious collections along with renowned contemporary artists such as Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert  Rauschenberg, and Jim Dine.

In 2001, after over a decade of painting and exhibiting in the United States and Paris, Alain returned to settle in Bora Bora and once again paint in the tranquility and splendor of the island he so loves. His studio is built high on a hill overlooking the magical blue lagoon and beyond. There he welcomed many esteemed clients including celebrities, royals, super yacht owners and more.

Alain Despert’s work has covered a wide range of subject matter, from "Cars of the Fifties" to "Dante's Divine Comedy". He is self-taught with a remarkable talent for brilliant color combination and a unique style of flowing lines throughout his paintings. His work is captivating and his unending creative imagination brings energy and life to each canvas. Whether a figurative or almost abstract painting, an earlier or a more recent work, each creation is distinctively a Despert.