John Beatty

{image pending}
Oil ( 24”x 20” ) 2019

John’s bareknuckle days began with fist fights as a youth, onboard ships in the Navy and a period as a bouncer. His first Pro Match was in 1980, when he won the Tough Guy Contest at the old Buffalo Auditorium. I was in attendance that night. I’d meet John years later at the VA Medical Center. He had also become proficient in boxing, kick boxing and Tae Kwon Do (earning a Black Belt). My rendition is meant to be an up close and in-your-face encounter.

Jack Johnson

Oil ( 48” x 36”) 2018

Jack Johnson became the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion. However, as was the case with many boxers, he began his bareknuckle fighting days as a child. He would compete in Battle Royales. These involved blindfolded African-American youths who fought each other until one was left standing.

Bruce Lee

Oil ( 60”x 36”) 2017

Certain individuals radiate art through form, movement and expression. I’ve always felt that way about Bruce Lee (and Jimi Hendrix). I wanted to combine features of a dragon without crossing over into a comic book style. The claws, wings and tail are subtle yet evident.


Mixed Media (44”x 46”) 2016

I tried using the same approach with Brawer as I did with a Brush With Bareknuckles. The only problem was that I pinned the paper to a plaster board wall. Punching and dragging knuckles on that surface didn’t draw anything but blood and a bruised hand.