Chicago-based fine art painter Bruno A. Surdo is classically trained in drawing and oil painting in the tradition of Renaissance masters. With strong command of the human form, Surdo creates dynamic compositions of people and places that communicate a rich commentary on the world around him. Depicting trees from personal encounters, Surdo’s latest body of work entitled “Tree Spirits” takes us on a foray into the forest, where leaves, branches and burls express something deeply personal. Applying his mastery of figurative realism to the natural world, he experiments with form and texture to uncover the intangible spirits of trees.
This charcoal drawing entitled “Fusion” beautifully illustrates the collision of two young birch trees. Loosely drawn with short, lateral strokes, the drawing depicts the slow process of two trees fusing together as a graceful gesture of physical touch. The horizontal motion of the sketch-like linework captures the striated texture of birch bark, punctuated by the irregular forms of its eye-shaped markings. The light-colored trees are contrasted by a dark backdrop, a void of negative that isolates the trees in space and time.
Restricting the composition to only a portion of the tree trunks, Surdo accentuates their abstract forms and focuses on the simple beauty of their graceful movements. Guided by his memory, Surdo recalls the trees as soft, gentle and calm, leaning in on each other in a tender embrace. His freeform, expressive style reveals the subjectivity of this memory and finishes the composition with a transient, dream-like atmosphere.
Charcoal on paper. Framed.
Drawing: 15"W x 21.5"H