Saturday, January 7, 2012

Art Unseen: Bernard Gilardi

Image by Bernard Gilardi

          Deb Brehmer's presentation of the "basement artist" Bernard Gilardi focused on an almost entirely self-taught artist who never exhibited his body of work. The show I viewed contained on Bernard Gilardi's religious paintings, while the lecture Brehmer gave covered the range of subjects of Gilardi's 400 works of art. Brehmer's analysis of the painter was highly analytical and, from her viewpoint of curator, helped me better understand what to look for when analyzing any type of artwork. Deb Brehmer questioned every aspect of Gilardi's work from his studio to the finite details within his paintings. All of these details allowed her to piece together the way the artist's mind functioned and conversations with his family gave her the knowledge of why Gilardi never showed his work outside of his basement. Bernard Gilardi truly led an isolated life as an artist, which is both fascinating and slightly sad, because he never came forth into the art world. 
          Bernard Gilardi's paintings represent a fantasy world. I, too, must discover a fantasy world within the digital processes class experience. While behind the lens of a digital camera, each student is challenged to work beyond the documenting of real life images and, instead, potentially find a fantasy world. While the images I will capture are "real" images, perhaps Gilardi's paintings are reflective of his reality or world view. Deb Brehmer mentioned Gilardi's satirical depiction of the blond Christ several times in her presentation, which she related to his views on the civil rights movement. She illustrated how Gilardi utilized his positive feelings of racial equality in his paintings, truly bringing his ideals to life.        

1 comment:

  1. Is it harder or easier to create that world inside the basement today? Thinking of the sort of space virtual worlds create for people. Second Life and whatever else. What sort of worlds can artists create out of Facebook, Toy Story, and CNN?