Lalonde was born in Montreal in 1950, the oldest of four children in a working-class family. He was drawn to the arts at an early age and bought his first serious set of paints, brushes, and canvases at age 12. He proved to be graced with a rich imagination, which flourished during his time spent at boarding school, a confining though ultimately inspiring environment. As the tumultuous 1960s unfolded, Lalonde was swept up in the excitement of rock and roll, the Beatles, and what was to become known as the “British Invasion.” The artistic movements spawned in the psychedelic revolution particularly drew Lalonde, leading him to the works of surrealists like Magritte, Dali and Ernst as he explored his own creative drive.
Traces of this influence can be seen in the paradoxical effect of Lalonde’s works and the sometimes-startling juxtapositions of objects and elements. Lalonde also admired Warhol and Lichtenstein’s work as we can see in his focus on everyday subjects. Peter Max’s psychedelic posters, all the rage during his teens, ultimately influenced his later-developed fauvist approach with an at-times acid range of color values.
Lalonde began to create and sell his own paintings and in 1967 was invited to present his work at a Montreal gallery— his first solo exhibition. It was a resounding success, encouraging him to continue with his artistic development. At the age of 19, he was admitted into L’Ecole du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, a school attached to The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts. He anticipated learning new techniques and new art forms but left after a year, disillusioned by the way the courses were conducted. Instead, he continued to paint for himself and began working with an art book publisher. There he discovered Picasso’s late Cubism, with its more recognizable forms, and the color and infused light of Parrish and Chagall. To date, his career includes over 175 solo exhibits worldwide.