Updated: Mar 18
Bruno Pontiroli, a versatile French born contemporary artist, is especially known for his surreal animal paintings. His paintings display various beasty figures doing impressive tricks and pulling breakneck stunts. Pontiroli creates mind-bending art in which is shed a light on the relationship between humans and animals; from a cheeky fox balancing on two paws, to a moose being entangled in a complex yoga pose, in his artwork they all look equally flexible, bizarre and colorful. Apart from that, Bruno also creates magic worlds and dreamlike environments, inhabited by humans or fantasy characters, often doing odd poses too. He disturbs the imagination of his viewers, which is likely to be one of the reasons of his success. Childhood dreams are brought to life and his artwork gives us new ways to see the world as it disturbs the imagination.
Pontiroli, doesn’t want his paintings to be all lumped under the title of surrealism. Instead, he prefers to call it a new version of reality, without further categorization. He turned to drawing and painting at an early age, as he was eager to express his desire for artistic creation. Needless to say, this worked out pretty well for him. In his paintings he is able to make the ordinary extraordinary and to turn uncommon scenes into reality. His first individual exhibition was in 2012 at the famous Paris based art gallery called ‘le Laboratoire de la Création’. Ever since his artwork has been exposed all over Europe and the United States. Curious to see his latest creations? Check out his Instagram here!
Technique & sources of inspiration
In his younger years, Pontiroli already knew he wanted to become an artist. As he mentioned in an interview he ‘felt the urge to put on canvas this absurd and off the wall world I was imagining’. Hence, his artsy journey began. He dedicated a great deal of his time to improve his drawing and painting skills by attending open art workshops for many years. Even though he learned a lot here, he admits that he learned lost of skills by himself, especially when it comes to oil painting. He never regretted mistakes he made as it was important for the overall progress and improvement of his technique.
Before he starts working on the actual painting, Pontiroli always writes down his idea. The next step involves making a sketch, mostly using watercolor, pencil or Indian Ink. He mentions ‘one particular idea usually becomes the central subject for a brand-new painting, and some of the others are used for building the surrounding universe’. After deciding about this, he moves along and takes his artistic skills out on the canvas. For this he also has a special way of working. He paints with both white and black acrylic for the first layers, and then uses oil paint to finalize his masterpieces.
Pontiroli is influenced by various artists. This list includes, but is not restricted to, names as Rembrandt, Rubens, Topor and Magritte. But these old masters are not the only source of inspiration for him, as he states that many great ideas also arise from daily situations or when he seeks for a creative impulse in books.
See what you want to see
In the mystical world of art, the ever-recurring question is: What do you want to say with the painting? Pontiroli is not quite keen on this question as he doesn’t like the idea of being the main provider of the interpretation of his work. Usually because the public would only consider that interpretation, which works counterproductive according to Pontiroli. He prefers that every person would make up their own opinion about his art, and figures out what could lie behind it. This is much more interesting as it opens an entire universe of options.