Based in Milwaukee, WI, Bernard Gilardi (1920–2008) worked intently on the weekends and at night after working as a dot etcher at various lithography companies creating his artwork. His devout Catholic family, which consisted of his wife, Mary Rose, and their two daughters, Mary and Dee, thought of Gilardi’s painting practice as a simple hobby. Given the religious underpinnings of the household, it is remarkable that Gilardi’s work survived and that he so explicitly (and fluidly) explored themes of homosexuality, race interrelations, religious satire and nudes. Gilardi’s paintings were usually executed on the rough side of masonite with oil paint and range in style from being deeply controversial, to outright bizarre, to sublime and quietly beautiful.
We Belong: Presented by Maurizio Cattelan, SHRINE, NYC