Artist in Focus: Kevin Brewerton

I hope UGallery’s love for Kevin Brewerton isn’t coming off as too strong. But we are obsessed. This World Kickboxing Champion and artist blends speed with emotion. For any artist, the combination of strength and vulnerability is a winning match. Last time we left Kevin Brewerton painting on boxing ring canvases. We decided to follow up with him to see what’s happening on and off the ring. “The Art for Boxing” video is a little something extra.

What is your earliest art memory?

My 8th grade teacher threatening the classroom with a 2x4, while telling us that, “Black is not a color…” 

You’re a World Kickboxing Champion. How does kickboxing affect your art? Do these two hobbies intersect?

It’s becoming more and more obvious to me that both are inseparable. I find myself painting from the same source as I did when I was in the ring fighting. It’s all about expression and crafting something that will stand the test of time, and hopefully, in someway, make a lasting effect on people. That’s what I’m trying to do as an artist, that’s what I did as a fighter. 

You talk about the emotions that drive your art. Which emotions are better suited for creating art?

All emotions are an asset to the artist. The art can be a release, or it can be a way of deeper exploration. I think the point is to somehow put your emotion into your art. For me a large part of the art is about self-expression and the ability to reveal myself. There’s a freedom in that.  In the artwork, I try to find strength and vulnerability at the same time.  As a fighter, the latter is not something you would want to embrace, but as an artist it becomes a strength. Irony.

What’s one word to describe your art?

Engaging

What is your favorite piece on your UGallery portfolio?

I think that might be El Campeon. I find him majestic. 

Do you follow any other artists on UGallery? Do any pieces on UGallery (that aren’t yours) stand out to you?

Tough question. UGallery has so many talented artists, but two that come to mind who I really like is Jenny Gray and Stephen Poling. I like Jenny’s compositons and use of color and I like the provocative nature of Poling’s figuratives. 

Favorite Franz Kline piece?

Probably the first Kline I ever saw, which was hanging at LACMA, The Ballantine. There was so much going on in the painting and yet it seemed so simple. 

What are you currently working on? Last time your art was taking on a larger scale. Where is it headed now?

There will always be the large-scale pieces, and fully blown out pure abstractions. I like the way they confront the viewer. But I explore everything. 

At the moment I find myself returning to the theme of the boxer. There is something quite tragic, poetic and yet noble and inspiring at the same time. Perhaps it’s because of my relationship to the fighter, or the fact that I believe that every piece should be a personal monologue or self-portrait of some sort, which makes me keep coming back. The latest bout is that I’m dismantling the boxer by way of a type of cubism, which I’m intrigued by. It challenges the viewers perspective. 

For fun, what’s your go to kickboxing movie?

Enter The Dragon!!! Bruce Lee at his best.

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