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Hitters, Grapplers and Strongmen

There’s a story in each of these portraits of fighters, underdogs and champions.

“I found an old photo of boxer Kid Lavigne,” says artist Harley Oliver.” In 1894 he killed a man in the ring. By beating him to death, he took on that man’s title - US Lightweight Champion. I looked again at the photo . There’s none of that story in his face. I thought I’d try and expand that image as a portrait on canvas“

That idea developed into the series ‘Hitters, Grapplers & Strongmen’, ten paintings showing at the Stanley Street Gallery from February 28th to 24th March.

Strongmen like Georg Lurich are there too.

“A huge man, still a legend in Estonia. Indestructible as a wrestler, he got caught up in fighting during the Russian revolution. He survived that but died a few months later from Typhoid.”

Two Australians are in the series; Max Carlos , who was tipped to win a medal in the ’56 Olympics and Max Stuart, an aboriginal tent boxer who was arrested for the brutal murder of a nine year old girl from Ceduna. Even though he spoke hardly a word of English , the police produced a detailed confession. He maintained he was given a beating by police. Sentenced to hang , his case caused great public concern. Led by Rupert Murdoch, then publisher of the Adelaide Times the court was persuaded to commute the sentence to life in prison.

Date: 24 February - 24 March
Time: Wednesday - Friday 11-6pm | Saturday 11-5pm

Stanley Street Gallery
1/52-54 Stanley St, Darlinghurst, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
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