Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Artist Claudio Bravo dies in Morocco

Morocco Board News reports that the painter Claudio Bravo died Saturday, June 4 at the city of Taroudant, at the age of 74. Installed in Morocco since 1972, he will most likely be buried in Taroudant, which he considered his second home.

To escape the hectic life of a busy artist in Madrid, the Chilean-born painter Claudio Bravo moved to Morocco where he had three homes: in Taroudant, a house dubbed "the refuge of the artist" - a fortress against the outside world; in Marrakech, a small palace in the Medina, and in Tangier, a sublime garden house.

Claudio Bravo in Tangier

The Chilean painter fell in love with Morocco. He arrived in Tangier in 1972 where he dropped his luggage, canvases and brushes in the city by the sea, that was then the haunting ground of the Beat Generation. He rubbed shoulders with the writer Paul Bowles, he was introduced to the painter Francis Bacon and most importantly he found his inspiration. He was "fascinated by the composition of things in the country," he said and, was "mesmerized by the use of color in every day life."

He was captivated by the lights, colors and the people of Tangier. He painted his subjects in a hyper-realistic way that was inspired from classicism; he was guided by his obsession to represent the world as it is.

The colors of everyday life in Morocco influenced his choice in landscapes, figure compositions and still-lives that he painted. The Moroccan traditional art objects that he collected served him as models. He planned to open a museum for his art collection at his Taroudant fortress home.

His hyper-realistic style has propelled him to be on the short list of major art collectors, his paintings were auctioned for hundreds of thousands of dollars ... He has made numerous portraits of Moroccan models in an amazing quasi-photographic style.

Father and Son

A realist colorist, Claudio Bravo moves from portrait to still life with ease. He was also known for his intriguing staged allegories. He was drawn toward the mystical, and was able to capture a series of touching paintings of men in prayer.

Works by Bravo are included in the collections of El Museo del Barrio, New York, the Baltimore Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; The Palmer Museum of Art, State College, Pennsylvania; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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