After an extended hiatus, Art Dinners has resumed visiting studios — this week, I stopped by the workspace of Painter/Illustrator Ashley Bravin!
Much of Bravin’s work, rendered in oil paint on canvas at varying scales, depicts boxers in mid-brawl. A concentration placed on the spectator, Bravin uses the ring like George Bellows– as a stage set for a psychological investigation of an operatic crowd:
A corollary is drawn to dog fighting, which experienced a surge in Kabul. The style of Bravin’s rendering in both projects tips a hat to influences like Soutine, Bacon, and Rico Lebrun.
Bravin’s work has a wide range, but seems to center on a tension leading to violence in destabilized populations (drawing an interesting comparison between the depression era United States present day Middle East).
This has carried over to a collage-like practice, mixing news media ephemera with more cryptic instances of violence:
The chief importance of Bravin’s works appears to be the aestheticization of violence as an ‘ethical reference point’ (Sontag) — as static reminders of the results of damaging sociopolitical forces, and what beauty there is to behold whilst in such tumult.
Bravin divides her time between work spaces in Palos Verdes, CA, and San Francisco, CA.