Mark Beard's Many Masks

Take a moment to visit artist Bruce Sargeant’s work at Provincetown’s Karilon Gallery. Sargeant’s strong vibrant male figures, often seen participating in sporting events, show a style typical of his time; he lived from 1898 to 1938. 

Except that… he didn’t.

Bruce Sargeant is the product of artist Mark Beard’s imagination, the gay great-uncle he always wished he’d had. And Sargeant isn’t alone: Beard invented a whole host of personae to reflect the different styles and media in which he wanted to work. There’s Sargeant’s mentor, Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon, whose art, one critic said, “went from outmoded to downright unpopular.” Studying along with Sargeant were two other artists, Edith Thayer Cromwell, a radical who died in 1962, and Brechtolt Steeruwitz, a German expressionist and minimalist. Finally, the third generation is represented by avant-garde and political painter Peter Coulter.

Beard has a detailed biography for each of these artists; each has a definite style and preferred media, all are represented by the same NY gallery, and all have traveling displays (several are with Beard in Paris right now, for example); but Sargeant is clearly a favorite. Check it out and see if he becomes yours as well!

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