Title: Joe Baksi, Heavyweight, 1940’s from the series, “The Glory and Suffering of the Prize Ring: Boxers in Charcoal”
Artist: Homer Guerra
Medium: Charcoal on paper
Sheet size: 14 x 11 inches
Biographical Note by the Artist: Joe Baksi was a Heavyweight main fighter during the war years and post war '40's. In London, he KO'd England's Heavyweight and LightHeavyweight champions. Though he never fought for the title, a fighter still had to get past him to get to Joe Louis.
“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.”