Claudio Bravo

Christine Sullivan, Author, Edward J. Sullivan, Author Rizzoli International Publications $50 (140p) ISBN 978-0-8478-0655-3
Even when he paints a New York street scene, Bravo's way of seeing and describing is steeped in 15th century Italian art. His best pictures are portraits imbued with Renaissance-like grace and precision. But they are outnumbered by works that are dull or trite, as they are displayed in this illustrated monograph by New York University teacher Sullivan. The Chilean-born artist, who settled in Madrid and is now based in Tangier, exhibits in museums and galleries despite a generally hostile critical press. His surrealistic juxtapositions of unusual and familiar objects are corny, and his photorealist renditions of soccer players, Arabs, rocks and male nudes seem lifeless. Bravo's direct reworkings of Baroque or Renaissance themes, as in Bacchanal and Temptation of St. Anthony, look more often stagy than convincing. He is most original when he depicts a graveyard with astonishing, almost loving clarity or shows a beach in intimate detail. His Infanta, a portrait of a nude hermaphrodite, outrages and amuses as it mocks Spain's royalty. (June 2)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1986
Release date: 02/01/1986
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