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Serge Brunoni A force of nature

Magazin’Art, 15e année, No 2, hiver 2002/2003 Lorraine P. Dietrich

Over the last 30 years Serge Brunoni has gained an impressive reputation as an artist. His paintings are sold through reputable galleries and prized in permanent collections across Canada. Brunoni was courteous and friendly during our interview at his studio. It is decorated with the souvenirs and awards of his working life. As he described the progress of his artistic career he proved himself a born raconteur. Brunoni speaks with a clarity and transparence that mirrors his attitude towards life and art, an approach that stems from sincerity and simplicity. If anyone feels bewitched when they look at his work, it is because his work is enchanting.

Brunoni was born in Ligny-en-Barrois in France in 1938. His father was Italian. If his youth was scarred by the war, his leanings towards an artistic career were already being expressed through an aptitude for drawing. Brunoni also has a taste for adventure. When he was twenty he enlisted in the French colonial infantry. Originally stationed in the south of France he was soon posted to Africa where he spent three years as a soldier. When he was demobilized, he stayed in Africa, doing railroad surveying for a line being built in the middle of the Congo. In the jungle he discovered the beauty of a country and its people whom he describes as “being straight out of Eden”.

“There are certain ways in which Québec is similar to Africa. The forest is like the jungle, both are powerful influences. Both landscapes are immense. Sand is often found under the topsoil in both places, the summer heat is intense in both places and both types of mosquitoes are fierce” said Brunoni.

Drawn to the vast spaces of Québec as he was to Africa, Brunoni emigrated to Trois-Rivières in 1963. In 1967 he married and started a family. Brunoni began painting in 1970 and by 1972 he had become entirely dedicated to it. While lessons helped in the beginning it was Brunoni’s sense of inspiration and a dedication to research and working at his art that helped him create his style, a style that is by conviction figurative and based on nature. “I use acrylics because the medium favors a spontaneity that I want in my paintings”.

In his studio Brunoni paints scenes that reflect the beauty of nature. Figures are often present but they aren’t just dropped in as a static architectural element. They are an integral part of the composition in harmony with the environment. His rendering of urban life usually shows people in action, the hustle and bustle of big city life. His city scenes are balanced by his forest, mountain and river themes where the figurative subjects commune with nature.

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