Stephen D. Bunting: Superhero Artist

superman_edited-2Lately I have been dwelling on the possibility of choosing a superpower. For some reason the choice of Rubber Woman popped up. Stealing apples and cakes from around a corner, or switching off all the house lights while lying in bed seemed appealing. But are there any other advantages to be being rubberised?

supermanSuddenly I experienced the full force of indecision. It felt as though I had tossed myself into a horrible abyss to flounder alongside the other second-draft, regular-power wannabes, left to wallow amongst all the other aspiring superheroes with low self-esteem.

I have reconciled with the fact that I will simply have to doddle along and cope with the secret knowledge that I may eternally possess only superpower potentiality.

So by Friday, while on the train during my first-time visit  to Brighton and with my action figure riddle temporarily put to rest, I wondered if there would be very much in the way of street art in this seaside town. While waiting for my friend to arrive, I wandered down the first side street outside of the station. Within a hundred feet a framed Banksy appeared on the  side of a pub. Now here’s an artist with an actual superpower!

Further afield, my street guide and I stumbled upon BozBoz gallery. The door was locked. It was obvious that the gallery was between exhibitions.spiderman Since I could so easily have crawled under razor wire with my rubber body to see a good show, to simply ring the doorbell and walk in seemed majorly unchallenging.

bozboz signInconsiderately, Holly Fischer, the Head of Talent Management for BozBoz, the Brighton-based award-winning design company,  graciously opened the door for us. While chatting about the previous exhibition, my eyes drifted over to the few remaining pieces that were still hanging. Without question, this has to be the portraitist-to-the-superpower heroes. As Lucien Freud is to Queen Elizabeth, Stephen D. Bunting is to the Superpower Action Hero set.

With the truly delicate brushwork and the deft control of his palette knives, Stephen skilfully combines opaques and transparents to produce the emotive tenderness of archetypal comic book characters.

WonderWomanWith such an understated subtlety, he manages to achieve likenesses that are truly moving. You can see and feel these world-weary characters posing after a harrowingly long day of saving and defending . . . something or other.

The impact of these images is further emphasized  by their actual size. The approximate 3”x 5” supports make these character portraits feel like powerfully tiny but completely spent powder kegs.

After a quick tour and amiable conversation, we left the Oz of BozBoz. Then this morning I woke up thinking that I should call Holly and buy Superman. Or Wonder Woman. It would be a smart investment. Sadly, though, my travelling life comes with  invisible walls, and  my real superpower is currently occupied with  trying to choose a final destination to settle down. Hmmm . . . maybe I should reconsider the rubber woman thing… I could probably stretch my rubber arms and grab a Gaudi steeple and swing myself over to  Spain.

I wonder if  he’d paint Rubber Woman?

For information contact:  http://sdbunting.com/

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