STAINS AND SCRATCHES TO FRAME. DIMENSIONS INCLUDING THE FRAME: 23"W x 29"H.Known for: Illustrator, surreal figure-genre painting. Painter, sculptor, and illustrator of commentary on human behavior, Charles Bragg often injects his sense of humor and appreciation of satire into his subjects, many which are cartoonish and seem half human and half animal.
He is also capable of depicting serious subjects, ones that become poignant commentaries on the human condition. Charles Bragg portrays people, but he is not a figurative artist in the plastic sense in which California artists have come to be known. Bragg's concerns start with the narrative, even anecdotal, and he has created a cast of characters who have lost their souls while acting out depravities through tragicomic burlesques of morality and ethics. Like a visual re-enactment of Gertrude Stein's wonderful tale, "I Know I'm a Queen Because I Wear a Crown, " his half-ass generals embody their values in symbols of their acquisitiveness and vanity such as phony and ornate medallions.Bragg's sinful universe is home to inept warmarkers frozen (clinically but not without humanity) as they plot, plan, scheme, pose, and rattle phallic sabres; they fumble and bristle beneath Prussian sashes and Edwardian haircuts while breathing heavily through forced smiles psychosomatic asthma? Bragg's bittersweet people are pompous, voiceless, pious and cruel! They are completely believable, even lovable; yet they are deranged, pretentious deathmongers and benevolent despots with serious oral problems. They obviously overeat to compensate for a lack of normal gratification.
To sum up, they are nice-looking, costumed 20th century cousins of Goya's Saturn devouring his son. How dare Bragg make art of castrated cherubs as generals, or gaily-draped ritualistic hypocrites as clergymen! Who in hell does he think he is mirroring? It certainly doesn't look like what we think of as white Christian America! Or then again, does it?
Holbein's skeletons dance once again with reincarnate joy! Some viewers find so much to see in Bragg's work that one is apt to forget what one is looking at, that is-a work composed of lush, intuitive geometry modeled architectonically, using subtle renaissance form.Genteel fantasies are woven into a complexity of visual (image-idea) and psychological patterns in such a way that gestalt experience occurs surprisingly often. Though his scale is intimate, Bragg's compositions are monumental enough to be translated verbatim into mural scale. But enough about the physicality of these works!
The crux of the matter is simply that these remarkably communicative expressions can be interprested as going beyond storytelling into the real of affirming truth by exposing myths and lies! Mean old Charley pricks pins into pomposity, not people. He loves people, and his work transcends being merely narrative because his work basically expresses conditions and values, not itsy-bitsy genre situations. False prophets and soulless mythic heroes are on their way out, and Charley Bragg is recording Act III for posterity.
Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, GA). Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia (Columbia, MO). Oklahoma City Museum of Art (Oklahoma City, OK). Print Club of Albany (Schenectady, NY).
San Diego Museum of Art (San Diego, CA). University of Wyoming Art Museum (Laramie, WY). USC Fisher Gallery (Los Angeles, CA). 12 Book References for Charles Bragg. Dunbier, Lonnie Pierson (Editor) The Artists Bluebook 34,000 North American Artists to March 2005 479 No.2005 Davenport, Ray Davenport's Art Reference: The Gold Edition 2421 No. 1999 Bisbort, Alan Charles Bragg: The Works: A Retrospective 0 Yes. 1993 Southwest Art The Red Book Western American Price Index 126 No. 1984 Bragg, Charles Charles Bragg on the Law: A Sardonic View of our Fun-Tilled Legal System in Action 0 No. 1984 Bragg, Charles Charles Bragg on Medicine: A Sardonic View of Our Fun-Filled Medical System 79 Yes.
1983 Kaplan, Ellen Prints A Collector's Guide 253 No. 1982 Von Blum, Paul Critical Vision/A Historyof Social and Political Art in the U S 165 No. 1980 Taylor, Geoffrey; Charles Bragg The Absurd World of Charles Bragg 0 Yes. 1976 Allentown Art Museum The American Flag in the Art of Our Country.1974 Schwartz, Barry The New Humanism Art in a Time of Change 192 Yes.