Fight Knight

Boxing is a brutal sport. Holyfield lost a chunk of ear, Sugar Ray Leonard suffered brain damage, and, on average, five boxers die each year in the ring. It’s no wonder artist Vincent Valdez chose to liken a boxing match to the Passion of the Christ in his show, “Stations.”.

Valdez created the huge, hyper-realistic charcoal drawings in 2004 as a way of coping with the death of a close friend. One image shows a halo of lights around the hero’s head. In another, two companions soothe a disheveled boxer with water. The boxer is a metaphor for life’s struggles, Valdez explains in a video interview on Mesa Arts Center’s blog. “The boxing match ultimately has the perfect ingredients for a really dramatic show -- the pain, the agony, the love, the hope."

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: April 10. Continues through Aug. 8, 2010