Bernard Gilardi

Bernard Gilardi

Bernard Gilardi’s “It’s a Draw,” a 1963 painting that depicts two dead, dueling men whose bodies are twisted into letter-like shapes. Credit via the Estate of Bernard Gilardi.

As an obscure, untrained, uninspired painter closeted in a shed, I get a vicarious boost reading about painters who manage to wander into visibility from the sidelines — posthumously, most often, which is not the boosting part.

“For more than 40 years, Gilardi made paintings in his Milwaukee homes, working in the attic and the basement, away from his wife and children. By day, he was a dot etcher at lithography companies; on nights and weekends, he used oil paint to conjure a playfully surreal world of bulbous, barely dressed humans cavorting with nature… Gilardi never displayed his art during his lifetime. When he died, in 2008, he left behind almost 400 paintings. His first public exhibition came two years later, at the Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee.”

(Jillian Steinhauer, “What to See in New York Art Galleries Right Now [Bernard Gilardi],” NYTimes, 3-6-19)

(c) 2019 JMN.

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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