The artist is largely well known for the
heavy contrast of colors and strong sense of visual texture. As we can see in stag
at Sharkey’s the use of very bright and shimmering
colors draws the viewers’ attention to the main figures and make them stand out
from the dark background. Even though the contrast between the main
protagonists and the background is profound the artist still delivers a rather
smooth transition by slowly increasing the intensity of darkness the further
back it gets. The part of both boxers colliding is partly enhanced in a reddish
tone, symbolizing blood and therefore highlighting the violence such as the
physical fusion of the two combatants.
portrays in this oil painting two fighters virtually jumping into each other,
like two forces of nature. Both fighters seem to be emotionally heavily
invested, due to their eccentric movement and motion, the facial expression of
one of the fighter’s underlines this. The combatant to the left having his
mouth wide open, expressing aggression; the other one faceless, covered by his
arm that hits his opponent, hence wanting to infuse harm on his opponent.
In order to create the great contrast
between dark and light Bellows used oil as the media for this artwork. Oil also
allows the artist to portrait his illustration in color, which arguably
inflicts more emotion. To create more texture and tone the paint is applied
rather thickly on the luminous figures.
painting is being composited on a rather low point of view to put the observer
among the crowed viewing the fight. This effect makes the painting feel more
alive due to the viewer indirectly feeling part of the scenery. The picture is
being composed of the two fighters in the center of the image inside the boxing
ring with the referee on the right-hand side of them while the crowd is
surrounding the ring. The referee standing right behind one of the fighters,
gives the viewer the idea he is as much part of the exchange as the boxers
themselves. This is being highlighted by his bizarre motion and body
positioning that looks familiar to the one of both combatants. The painting´s
composition is perfectly balanced; with the referee´s arm extending to the
right and the planted leg to left, forming the sides of a pyramid, whose
foundation is naturally the mat.
In order to demonstrate a rather blurred
image, simulating the motion and movement of both fighters, the artist used
quick and streaking brushstrokes. As he was an American realist painter, the
majority of the art piece is being illustrated in a rather realistic style.
Though the part of the two fighters colliding seems almost like a physical
fusion of both, the artist could have been influenced by the early concepts of
futurism, whereby the movement was initiated the same year as this painting was