Title: Charley Burley, Midweight, 1940’s
from the series, “The Glory and Suffering of the Prize Ring: Boxers in Charcoal”
Charcoal on paper
14 x 11 inches
Biographical Note by the Artist:
The enigmatic middleweight who was "too good for his own good." Fast, fluid, and ghost-like, and ducked by many headliners, Burley, who was forced to give weight to light heavyweights, and even forced to fight Heavyweights, was never given a shot at the title. Many experts consider him the greatest pound-for-pound fighter, not withstanding Sugar Ray Robinson.
“Boxing and Art first came together in my life around the time of the 2nd Joe Louis/ Billy Conn postwar rematch. I suppose once can say that at time there’s a similar element of aggression in both the sport and art. I recall, while studying art at Pratt Institute, reading the words spoken by a famous abstract painter of that time, Clifford Stills, ‘I don’t paint…I hit. Yet, creativity in both can’t be denied. Not to ponder aesthetics here, I can definitely say that I’ve spent lots of time in and around boxing. It is these experiences that I try to bring to life in my drawings… the color and the drama, the violence and suffering as well as the good times and smoky memories. Please remember that each drawing represents a connection to my life… visits to Stillman’s Gym, fights I’ve attended, fighters I’ve met and photographed, homage to old warriors and just plain old boyhood heroes of mine.”