Canadian, b. 1950
Brando as Napoleon, from the series The Junkies, 2003–2005
encaustic on canvas
183 x 183 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of the artist
Tony Scherman is one of the most provocative contemporary practitioners of encaustic painting in Canada. In 2009 Scherman donated to the WAG 11 paintings spanning his entire career. Collectively this body of work is, at the core, about beauty—both the exquisite lightness and the tortuous darkness of the human experience. Part of this significant donation is the work from the series The Junkies where Scherman created original portraits sourced from movie stills; in this case, the 1954 film Desirée. The artist feels that the subjects of his series, such as the legendary actor Marlon Brando, have suffered the theft of their souls by the overexposure and consumption caused by the mass media.