Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An artist whose work I found on Flickr.com: Braccio

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog on Flickr.com and some of the work I've seen there. I do have a few favourites, and London-based Braccio is one of them.

One of the things Braccio asked me to do when I contacted him about writing a blog about his work was to warn people that many of his images are of nude adults. They are indeed very solid, very fleshy, and very believable. Nothing is glorified, nothing is left to the imagination either. You have a strong sense of an artist who maintains the age-old tradition of drawing what he sees, which is the tradition that brought us photography.

Braccio gave me a little background information - he is originally from Croatia, and rather unbelievably, has never had any formal training in art. But you know he's gone and done the hard graft of working on his innate talent - his Spirited Bodies series done in conté pencil and charcoal, is masterful drawing. You can see the guy in the # 4 detail is fond of his food and his beer, and is maybe a little less active than he used to be. By contrast, his piece Ian H. in pencil is nicely considered, the musculature of the figure's back very nicely formed, even if the legs seem a little on the short side, but this could easily have been the model's own build. I think the lines in Spirited Bodies - warmup for BAC #1, with two figures, are reminiscent of the figures of Matisse, the French Modernist painter and sculptor, and in a way I think it's a pity Braccio added such strong colours, because the simplicity of the lines is not apparently. Spirited Bodies @ BAC #1, by contrast, is a simple, rough drawing done what looks like pastel, and the lines are so vivid in it that it's very easy to imagine the figures dancing, rolling around on the floor, generally being 'spirited'.

Braccio has also created many landscape and still life pieces, in pen, watercolour, pencil and pastels. These include several cityscapes and interiors in London, and charming scenes from the English countryside, and some lovely scenes from places like Turkey also. But for me, I think it's his figures .... they are unselfconscious, vivid, beautifully observed. There is also a sense of a personal relationship between each figure, or subject, and Braccio himself. They are not just 'something to draw', there is a connection. A true artist, Braccio captures and records something of the individual - not unlike Rembrandt.

Keep them coming, Braccio. 

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