Bernard Gilardi

Wisconsin Rapids 1920 — 2008 Wauwatosa

In his Milwaukee basement workshop, Gilardi quietly pursued his passion, painting around four hundred strangely imaginative works, mostly in oil on Masonite. Above ground, he held a variety of jobs, including as an etcher for a commercial lithography company and later as a security guard. The self-taught artist enjoyed a conventional family life—married, had children and grandchildren, and worked to support them. His art is filled with bizarre, nudes and hybrid figures in anonymous landscape settings. The works were discovered following his death. In life, his painting was personal, a private outlet for his own thoughts and visions.