Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, baker, painter
August 25, 2010 8:10 PM   Subscribe

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein was born in Wisconsin on July 31, 1910. He lived in a small house in Milwaukee with his wife Marie, and he worked in a bakery. Between 1954 and 1963 he used his fingers, combs, quills and bakery tools to create hundreds of explosively colorful semi-abstract landscapes that evoke primordial soup biology, Lovecraftian horror, scifi weirdness and hellish alien beauty ('Full-Screen View' and its zoomable interface increase the pleasure dramatically). The 12 galleries of paintings at his memorial site are all available for free hi-res download, you can hear him talking about drugs, brain chemistry and visions at the 'Listen' link, and there's currently an exhibit honoring the centennial of his birth at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
posted by mediareport (24 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, this is amazing.
posted by nola at 8:12 PM on August 25, 2010

posted by mediareport at 8:13 PM on August 25, 2010

Oops, that's 22 galleries, not 12.
posted by mediareport at 8:21 PM on August 25, 2010

*weeps at the beautiful horror*
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:21 PM on August 25, 2010

Wow. These are simultaneously beautiful and the stuff of my nightmares.
posted by OolooKitty at 8:30 PM on August 25, 2010

These are really good.

And really hi-res.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:43 PM on August 25, 2010

posted by unliteral at 8:45 PM on August 25, 2010

Wow. Love it.
posted by dazed_one at 8:46 PM on August 25, 2010

better then the art pull-out section in "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks"

posted by clavdivs at 8:47 PM on August 25, 2010

This is some truly beautiful stuff - it reminds me of Charles Burchfield's stranger works, but taken to more of an extreme.
posted by ZaphodB at 9:35 PM on August 25, 2010

I saw the exhibit in Baltimore a few months ago. Ever since, I've been using insets from his paintings as desktop backgrounds.
posted by Electrius at 9:47 PM on August 25, 2010

I see nothing hellish or horrifying about Eugene Von Bruenchenhein's works. They are simply and profoundly beautiful. They remind me of Van Gogh. Or rather, like someone took a small detail of a Van Gogh painting, magnified it, and filled in the details.
posted by Kattullus at 10:17 PM on August 25, 2010

I see nothing hellish or horrifying about Eugene Von Bruenchenhein's works.

You say that like hellish and horrifying are bad things.
posted by mediareport at 10:43 PM on August 25, 2010

Only when I'm dreaming.

Though, to be honest, hellish and horrifying would be a welcome change from the blandness of my dreamlife. In my dreams I walk the same streets I walk every day, go shopping in real stores, talk to real friends, run errands, do boring tasks, sometimes even just do nothing, sit around in my apartment or whatever. I don't even have nightmares (the occasional night terror, though). Dreaming about gorillas with centipede faces eating my chest would be a welcome change, frankly.
posted by Kattullus at 10:55 PM on August 25, 2010

This is wonderful, gorgeous.
posted by tula at 11:21 PM on August 25, 2010

Beautiful! I'd never heard of him before, thanks a lot.
posted by asconfusedasnigel at 12:00 AM on August 26, 2010

Ah god Bruenchenhein is so great, but it's worthwhile to note that his paintings aren't the only part of his oeuvre. He also created sculptures--both ceramic and chicken-bone--and hundreds, maybe thousands of erotic, dream-like photographs of his (gorgeous) wife Marie. I love some of the double-exposure photographs in particular, and as a whole think the photographs are a marvelous document of love.

It's also worth noting that some of this stuff can be purchased! Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago, which represents a lot of "outsider artists," actually has paintings and photographs for sale. Bruenchenhein's star is rising so it's not as cheap as it used to be, but still! How amazing would it be to have that above your bed?
posted by besonders at 12:08 AM on August 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

I like these AND the site is non-annoying.
posted by DU at 4:50 AM on August 26, 2010

I'm amazed. It's a site that shows ART, using a FLASH interface, and it's... dear god, is it possible? It's WELL-DESIGNED, actually ENJOYABLE to use, and it doesn't make me want to STAB anyone!

Great find! Now if only I could stop my CAPS LOCK from switching ON and OFF as I TYPE...
posted by caution live frogs at 6:54 AM on August 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Fantastic. And, though this word gets bandied about a bit too often, yes, Lovecraftian.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:30 AM on August 26, 2010

clavdivs: 'better then the art pull-out section in "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks"'

posted by imneuromancer at 8:37 AM on August 26, 2010

Ah, Bruenchenhein: Finger-Painting's Finest Hour, Paste-Paper's Apotheosis!

My all-time favorite Outsider (especially when he backs off a bit on the thalos and magenta…); thanks for all the juicy links.

And to Paul Melnychuck and Rich Shapero for the beautiful website; back for more…
posted by dpcoffin at 9:59 AM on August 26, 2010

An art post in which the consensus is that the artist is NOT mediocre or technically skilled but soulless? And where the interface does not make us want to stab someone?

The world doesn't make sense anymore.
posted by Justinian at 10:08 AM on August 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

The American Visionary Art Museum is amazing.
posted by Mavri at 10:29 AM on August 26, 2010

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