Bruno Hirzel work: as various as the person himself | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

Courtesy Photos Above is a painting by Bruno Hirzel of a double-decker outbuilding, one of more than 20 paintings on display at the Besser Museum in northeast Michigan.

ALPENA – What do a double-decker outbuilding, some old cars, autumn leaves and an abstract combination of colorful shapes and lines have in common? They were all born from the unique and talented spirit of Bruno Hirzel, who originally came from Switzerland and now lives in Alpena.

Hirzel’s work is on view now through August 20 at the Besser Museum in northeast Michigan. His paintings cover a wide range of subjects, depending on what seems interesting to him.

“I don’t stick to one thing in particular” Said Hirzel. “Whatever hits me. I’ve even tried abstracts this year and I’m pretty happy about it. This year has been kind of an experimental year for me, and it seems to be working for me. I experiment with a lot of things. I always think of something. “

He tries to create unique works of art that no one has seen before.

“When something hits me, I like to put something together that I don’t think anyone did.” he said. “Really, one of the richest compliments I can get is, ‘Where do you get your ideas from? ‘And that tells me they haven’t seen anything like it. And that’s enough reward right there. “

Above is a painting by Bruno Hirzel showing a man trapped in a glass bottle. It is one of more than 20 paintings on display at the Besser Museum in northeast Michigan.

Some of his favorite subjects are things related to cars or music, he said.

According to his estimates, the autodidact painted 300 or 400 works. He used to paint with oil, but he was fed up with waiting 3-4 days for it to dry, and now he paints entirely with acrylic.

“Now I only do acrylic paints, because if I don’t like something, two minutes later it is dry and I can paint over it.” he said. “I love that.”

Hirzel gets lost in his work and paints for hours without noticing the time.

“That’s the fun part” he said. “You can really get involved … you can really get involved in your pictures. I am anyway. Once I start, I just want to be there and do it. You are in your own zone. You don’t want company or nothing. I just close my doors and hide my car, but when someone knocks on my door, my dog ​​always gives me away. “

Above is a painting by Bruno Hirzel with a colorful row of old cars on display in the Besser Museum.

Gucci the pit bull is Hirzel’s roommate.

“Oh he’s a riot” Said Hirzel. “He’s a great company. He is all I have. “

Hirzel said he usually completes a painting in a few days, but some only take a few hours. Knowing when the picture is ready is an important skill.

“You really have to know when enough is enough and you can overdo it” Added Hirzel. “You have to know when to stop.”

Hirzel remembers that he wanted to paint as a little boy. His father drew stick figures on the ceiling while they lay on their tile stove, and Hirzel said this was his first inspiration for creating art.

Above is a painting by Bruno Hirzel of seagulls over water, one of more than 20 paintings on display at the Besser Museum in northeast Michigan.

“I just loved the way he drew on this ceiling” Hirzel remembered. “That really got my wheels rolling. I wanted to paint. And the first painting I ever did was a still life. I hate still lifes! I hate her today … I’m not a still life painter. And I hate to paint people. But if I do, they’ll come out fine. “

He’s not doing it for the money, but he said he should probably sell the 100 paintings he currently has in his home.

“If I wanted to make money, I could do three, four, five pictures a day in landscaping and landscape painting.” he said. “But I’m not doing it because they’re too quick and easy for me.”

He prefers a challenge.

Hirzel also finds time to play one of his 40 guitars.

“I like the blues, the older rock’n’roll, I love rockabilly.” Said Hirzel. He was in the band “Old, not dead” However, they currently lack a bass player. “Each of us is older than the hills, but there was nothing to be called that we couldn’t play.”

The former Air Force man, who will be 80 this year, won championship titles in boxing and trained both amateur and elite boxers for many years. He’s still training fighters, including a fighter who plays with Grand Rapids’ Floyd Mayweather. Hirzel is still in good shape as he has always treated his body well, ate healthy foods, exercised, and avoided drinking, smoking, and drugs.

“I feel 39, I really do” Said Hirzel. “I’m in great shape.”

Hirzel moved to Alpena in 1964. In 1972 he opened a sign shop. Hirzel has spent more than 40 years hand-painting unique signs in the Alpena region. At the end of 2014 he retired from his sign business and has been painting ever since.

“Now I have the time for it” he said.

After 50 years of marriage, his wife Shirley died in 2015. Since then, Hirzel has devoted himself to painting as a hobby and therapy. Expressing himself through his work brings him peace and balance.

He doesn’t do commissioned work, he said, because then “it’s work.” He would rather paint to enjoy it and express his thoughts and feelings through art.

“New Works” von Hirzel opens on May 1st at the Besser Museum. This exhibition shows many of his different painting styles, from abstract to landscape.

Swiss-born Hirzel and his family came to the USA by boat in 1952 to look for the American dream. His art career began in Chula Vista, California, where he attended Catholic junior and senior high school. Hirzel still has his first oil painting, which he painted in high school. Upon graduation, he joined the US Air Force, where he worked as a firefighter. During that time, he competed in art for events such as Fire Prevention Week and won.

His job with the Air Force brought him to Alpena, where he met his wife Shirley. He and Shirley had three children – Kelly, Mike, and Sherri. Hirzel had many seasonal jobs in Alpena.

This is Hirzel’s second exhibition at the Besser Museum – his first was in 2016.

Call 989-356-2202 for more information or visit www.bessermuseum.org.

Courtesy Photos Above is a painting by Bruno Hirzel of a double-decker outbuilding, one of more than 20 paintings on display at the Besser Museum in northeast Michigan. Above is a painting by Bruno Hirzel showing a man trapped in a glass bottle. It is one of more than 20 paintings on display at the Besser Museum in northeast Michigan. Above is a painting by Bruno Hirzel with a colorful row of old cars on display in the Besser Museum.

Above is a painting by Bruno Hirzel of seagulls over water, one of more than 20 paintings on display at the Besser Museum in northeast Michigan.


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