Eugene von Bruenchenhein (1910-1983), a simple baker from Milwaukee, believed that his birth during the year of the passage of Halley’s Comet was irrefutable proof that the gods had bestowed him with artistic genius. “I come from another world,” he would say.
He began producing a substantial body of paintings, sculptures (for which he used chicken bones) and photographs. It was through his photographs that his reknown spread beyond the circles of aficionados of Art Brut. They are prominently featured at the current Venice Biennale and recently an entire room was devoted to his work at the Hayward Gallery’s An Alternative Guide to the Universe in London.
In 2004 in San Francisco, his photography was shown at the YBCA’s Create and be Recognized, Photography on the Edge with that of other unclassifiable photographers, including Miroslav Tichy and Lee Godie. This spotlight also helped to free Art Brut from the dogma that excluded photography, music, and even video and computer graphics despite the democratization of these practices which encouraged new ways of using them.
Von Bruenchenhein, in the fashion of Alfred Stieglitz, transformed his wife into a new Georgia O’Keeffe. His photographs attest to his devotion to Marie and their clearly visible complicity goes beyond the relationship of a Pygmalion to his pin-up. Their amourous games, intertwined with fetishism, transgressed Mid-West customs even as they offered a domestic version of modes of representation of post war eroticism–a troubling American Beauty.
- consécration posthume authors Stéphane Corréard in Libération next n° 10076, October 5 2013.
- Eugene von Bruenchenhein, American beauty authors in La Gazette de Drouot, October 14 2013.
- une photo "brute" authors Marie Zawisza in L'Oeil, November 2013.
- Eugene von Bruenchenhein, galerie christian berst authors Philippe Dagen in Le Monde, October 20 and 21 2013.
- galerie christian berst, ma femme est une bombe authors Emmanuelle Lequeux in Beaux Arts n°353, November 2013.
- L'éternelle beauté de la femme aimée (Bruenchenhein) authors Lunettes rouges in blog Amateur d'art par lunettes rouges, October 23 2013.
- American Beauty, l’exposition art brut tout en finesse authors in Paris Select.com, October 23 2013.
- Eugene von Bruenchenhein, American beauty authors Mikaël Demets in Time out , October 29 2013.
- A la gloire de Marie authors Dominique Poiret in Libération.fr, October 23 2013.
- Eugene + Marie authors in Alabama Chanin journal, October 14 2013.
- De l'art et une belle histoire d'amour authors in Le journal de la parisienne, November 2013.
- Von Bruenchenhein, au nom de Marie authors Dominique Poiret in Libération, November 8 2013.
- Eugene von Bruenchenhein – American Beauty authors Bénédicte Philippe in Télérama sortir.fr, November 15 2013.
- Eugene von Bruenchenhein, American beauty authors Jules Naudet in L'oeil de la photographie, November 20 2013.
- Eugene von Bruenchenhein, American beauty authors François Salmeron in parisArt.com, .