Kevin Brewerton is one of Ugallery’s most intruiging and talented painters. If you didn’t catch our interview with Kevin some months back, be sure to give it a read. Kevin is a five-time World Kickboxing Champion. He was so prolific that Martial Arts Illustrated wrote: “If anyone in the sport of Karate hasn’t heard of Kevin Brewerton, then they must have been in a coma for the last ten years.”
Kevin’s awesome paintings include some boxing themes, especially in his more figurative pieces. Recently, however, he’s started working with boxing materials. In his most recent series of work, Kevin has been painting on the canvases that coat the floors of boxing rings. Some of the canvases at Kevin’s disposal are from the Rocky movies and Million Dollar Baby.
We asked Kevin to tell us a little bit about these pieces and tell us about a boxing ring canvas’s journey from gym floor to high art. Here’s what he told us:
I drive to a small warehouse in East Los Angeles to buy my boxing ring canvases. I like the ones that are used and worn the most. I’m looking for the history in them. You can see it by looking at them, there’s an energy. Most of these canvases have been fought on by professionals or amateurs, either in competition or in training.
There are a number of ways to attack the work here. I’ve decided to use Color Field to break up the canvas: fighting is about dominating the ring, which is not unlike how complimentary colors fight to dominate the space on an artist’s canvas. This, amongst other things, suggests to the viewer that he/she is seeing the history of the fight. I have this in mind as I paint.
When I work with the larger canvases, I paint from standing inside the canvas. I want to become part of it, part of the art. A strange thing happens when I’m in that space, I find myself the fighter and the artist. I am fortunate to have had first hand experience from both perspectives. When I begin to paint, these canvases take on a life of their own. Each one is as different and unique as an other. Even if I try to replicate a work I can’t. There’s something epic about it. It feels like something historic is frozen in time.
Photos courtesy of Juan Monsalvez