Mixed pigment on cotton

104.1 x 157.5 cm (41 x 62 in.)

The face of a prisoner is shown in tight close up. The subject is treated with dark hues and a dim light, effects that the painter typically uses in his practice. The light beam only reveals part of the face. The overwhelming black seems to confine even more the subject. We know he is a prisoner by the title that irrefutably categorizes him as a “criminal”.

He looks up towards the viewers with a haunted look, making them observers, at once authoritarian prison guards, voyeurs and powerless visitors. Criminal transforms a press photograph into a noble, permanent painting. This practice is at the core of Troy Brauntuch's work. With this process, he brings value to a perishable, democratic object. His subject, sentenced to death, by nature marginalized, finds himself at the center of the art world.

Criminal as well as State Trooper and Mark’s Camera were first shown by the Pinault Collection in the exhibition The Illusion of Light at Palazzo Grassi, in 2014.
Troy Brauntuch's other artwork