1976 Concours d'Affiche Nationales, Paris, Prix du Limousin awarded by Président of France Giscard d'Estaing
My paintings are in an enchanted and timeless universe, rather than reproductions of what I see. My work is organized around powerful themes of daily life, dreams and poems, magnified and transfigured. In a suspended eternity, internal scenes of the human soul play. My paintings tell stories which are rich in symbols and essential myths. They contain symbols of my thoughts and questions that have been raised by life and poetry. Many of my paintings have a surreal quality, because they are inspired by dreams. When I create a painting, it feels like taking a walk in the forest in the interior of oneself and discovering the mysterious places in the depths. It is impossible to explain much more, as creativity is a thing of intimacy and difficult to describe.
2013 Art Talk on Techniques of Middle Ages, Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, Ca.
2015 Selected artist for Region Rising Collaborative Conference, Sacramento, Ca.
Becoming an Artist
When he was about seven or eight years old, Brugeilles went with his class in Bourges, France, to an exhibit of Jean Lurçat, an artist who painted and made tapestries. This was a revelation to him and the discovery of a world that could give meaning to life. When he was 17, President of France Giscard d’Estaing awarded him first prize for his region of France, the Prix du Limousin, Concours d’Affiche Nationales, Paris. This gave Brugeilles the confidence to decide at age 17 to become an artist, when he did not know anything about art. He only understood that there was an interior world in him that he needed to express in painting.
Brugeilles did not have the opportunity to go to art school and is self-taught. This probably freed him from thinking like everyone else. He decided to learn about art directly by going to museums in Europe to see the masterpieces. He began learning by trying to reproduce some of these masterpieces. He read many old books about the painters and techniques of the 17th and 18th centuries to find the old recipes for making paint and plaster for canvasses. He studied naïve painters, such as Rousseau, Bauchant, Crépin, LeSage, and Séraphine, as well as frescoes and sculptures in old European churches. He studied the paintings of others like Chardin, Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard, Valentin de Boulogne, el Greco, Rembrandt, Kandinsky, and Gromaire. Chardin’s work, for example, was influential in showing how to compose still life paintings.
Brugeilles left home at 18 looking for work. He went to Lyon and lived there for over 30 years, beginning in a cold-water room in a 16th century building with a common toilet in the hall. This run-down part of the city was later renovated and is now known as Vielle Ville, a UNESCO site. Sometimes, while continuing to paint and show his work, he did physical labor to support his family. In spite of very little encouragement from those around him, he continued, because he had faith in his art. It is a part of him.
When Brugeilles was in his twenties, he took a long trip to India, which transformed how he viewed his painting. Not only is India full of vivid color, but he was greatly inspired by seeing people living by the Hindu religion. After this trip, he began painting with a more optimistic view of life.
In France, Brugeilles taught art to adults and children. He enjoys teaching others, as he feels that art is the symbol of human energy and invigorates the human experience.