What This Artist Does Turns Invisible Aggression Into Something We Can See


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A Dutch boxer by the name of Bart van Polanen Petel forces two worlds to collide every time his fist meets the punching bag.

Otherwise known as Paintboxer, this creator brings artistry and athleticism together in a way that's utterly singular. "Fists are my tools for creation," he writes, but he doesn't mean that in some abstract, heady way. He means it in a way that's at once literal and totally unexpected.

Paintboxer brings canvases to life by covering his gloves with paint. He adds depth and dimension with every strike, calculated or otherwise.

Paintboxer brings canvases to life by covering his gloves with paint. He adds depth and dimension with every strike, calculated or otherwise.

Paintboxer

His work is what happens when Jackson Pollock, Jaison Cianelli, and Muhammad Ali stand against the ropes together.

His work is what happens when Jackson Pollock, Jaison Cianelli, and Muhammad Ali stand against the ropes together.

Paintboxer

And he does not hesitate to identify the inherent aggression of his process.

"If life is ultimately a Darwinian struggle for survival," he explained to Lost at E Minor, "then boxing at least has the virtue of being open about it. Inspired by its primal nature, I pay tribute. Instead of crushing bones and shattering teeth, I use my fists to create." Fittingly, he refers to his style as "pugilistic expressionism."

"What remains," he continues, "is an echo of the beast within."

In this artist's case, the process is as telling as the outcome.

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He explored those methods further with the creation of "Project Phosphorescence."

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Bart van Polanen Petel's work occupies the space between movement and stasis — anger and release. It's the visual product of invisible aggression.

To learn more about this artist, be sure to visit his website. For regular updates, follow him on Twitter.

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