Born in Wisconsin in 1910, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein married a local girl and worked in a bakery during the ten years that he completed his most imaginative pieces. Most of his paintings were completed in a single frenzied session, one to three hours in length. His neighbors regarded him as a weird character. EVB saw himself as a great artist, but was unsuccessful in selling his work or gaining any recognition. By his own accounting, he completed 1,080 paintings. When he died, his small house was crammed from floor to ceiling with them.
“I first saw Eugene Von Bruenchenhein’s paintings in 2003. I found them mysterious and evocative, and full of energy” says Rich Shapero, the collector who is bringing EVB’s online collection of paintings to life. “The more I looked at them, the more they expanded beyond the borders of the frame . . . the paintings completed during 1954-1963 are extraordinary.”> View the Von Bruenchenhein Gallery
The late Visionary artist, Donald Pass, provided the artwork for The Hope We Seek.
“I first became familiar with Donald’s work about eight years ago. I heard about his vision in the churchyard, and I found it easy to believe that the scenes depicted in his paintings came from a real experience. They are that vivid. That impactful.
“His images of the resurrection of souls were close, in substance and feeling, with the mental pictures I had formed of Hope and the crowds of souls struggling to deliver themselves to her. He seemed like the ideal artist for the project. I had some trepidations, however. I wasn’t sure if he would embrace my fiction as something that could exist alongside his vision. And there was the question of personal chemistry.
“Meeting him, crossing the bridge we had to cross, being understood and accepted by him—that ended up meaning a lot more to me than the work we did to produce the Hope paintings.”
> View the Donald Pass Gallery
François Burland is a highly acclaimed Visionary artist, often counted among painters of the Art Brut aesthetic. He has brought Wild Animus alive through a recently completed series. Rich Shapero discovered Burland’s work before completing Wild Animus:
“I was knocked out,” Rich says. “I saw a passion for the primeval, and I thought I recognized an understanding of things that was similar to my own. His bushmen interact and identify with wild creatures, often through violent acts, and there’s an ascension through that identification. A fulfillment.”> View the François Burland Gallery