Charles Bukowski the Artist

“The difference between life and art is art is more bearable.” – Charles Bukowski. The artist side of Mr. Bukowski is apparent in many shades of colors in books. He has supposedly produced over 1000 pieces of artwork for his books and many others. He stopped creating paintings in the early 1980’s; consider that the “assembly line” took the joy out of creating. The painting aspect released a tension between writing and his environment. It may be wise to look at the life of Mr. Bukowski in a different light than what he offers through his legacy. Come and explore the possibilities of a trapped soul that found small releases through the creative arts.

Art work for his written words

“The way to create art is to burn and destroy ordinary concepts and to substitute them,
with new truths that run down from the top of the head and out of the heart” by Charles Bukowski. Most of his paintings were on 6 x 9 inch paper with thick layers of color. His imagination and soul drove him to use acrylics, oil paint, watercolors, pastels or other tools of the trade. Black Sparrow used many of the paintings for the first edition prints.  Charles grew tired of the endless ramblings from BS and stopped producing art for his book releases. Perhaps the madness of the publisher drove to wear down quicker than normal.

Examining the paintings

The individual strokes on his paintings have been called “primitive,” but I see them as an expressive release. The brush stroke can indicate many things, and the interpretation is open for scrutiny. The size of the brush and the impending calamity between paint and paper may have been a release that satisfied his soul. The safer assumption that most have, is it delighted him to paint in order to free up his mind. It is not usual for writers to have hobbies in a different creative nature to help soothe the tired mind.

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