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Stag At Sharkey's

   by Dean Lucker for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: Stag At Sharkey's

Inspiration Artist: George Bellows

My original idea was to use everything within the box, which I did. I thought about how to scale the material of the box to match the material within a boxing ring; so I used the canvas for the mat, the twine for the rope sides, the translucent plastic for the light. With the rope in the kit, I un-wound it to small strands, soaked it in water to straighten and added glue. For my crank shaft I bound 5 wire pieces and twisted them together with a drill to strengthen the wire. The wooden dowels make perfect ring posts, the foam / clay were sculpted into the crowd, and I mixed sawdust, paper and glue to make a putty.
I settled on the great American artist of the ashcan group, George Bellows and his 1902 painting, “Stag at Sharkey’s” because of its dramatic lighting, aggressive brush work, and the painting’s “sculptural” movement. Until 1920, boxing was mostly outlawed in New York state. A loophole allowed fights to take place in athletic clubs, so many bars became on-the-fly athletic clubs in order to host matches. One of these bars-turned-clubs was Sharkey’s, a saloon on Columbus Avenue near West 67th Street.

I settled on the great American artist of the ashcan group, George Bellows and his 1902 painting, “Stag at Sharkey’s” because of its dramatic lighting, aggressive brush work, and the painting’s “sculptural” movement. Until 1920, boxing was mostly outlawed in New York state. A loophole allowed fights to take place in athletic clubs, so many bars became on-the-fly athletic clubs in order to host matches. One of these bars-turned-clubs was Sharkey’s, a saloon on Columbus Avenue near West 67th Street.

 


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