Currently, I am working on a project involving our national pastime, baseball. Growing up with fathers, grandfathers and uncles who lovingly spoke of bleacher friendships and neighborhood loyalties inspired my devotion to the portrayal of the game. From the end of the First World War until the late 1950s, it was the focal point of sports in our society, and was still just a game. In this golden age, ballplayers were accessibly human, and the atmosphere of a cozy ballpark was just as important as what happened on the field of play.
Commentary and comparisons to today’s game aside, it is my goal to depict the look and color of this bygone era in oil paints, focusing on the quaint ballparks, lively personalities, and dominating teams so beloved by its fans. Through invaluable resources such as news and wire photographs, newsreel and 16mm home movie footage, newspaper clippings, firsthand accounts, and even legends, I create historically authentic scenes depicting the character of the game from this era – be they the subjects of the mundane or the spectacular.
It is my goal as a painter to reanimate the collected ephemera of baseball through my artwork. Focusing not only on gestures, player likenesses, or uniform styles, I am also concerned with the depiction of a mood or atmosphere, which I strive to accomplish through my manipulation of light and color. These works transcend the black and white images people of my generation have become so accustomed to seeing on television and in books, while giving those of an older generation the opportunity to revisit childhood memories in lurid color and meticulous accuracy.
Through these processes, I act as a visual historian: recreating a history that I have never experienced, yet, like millions of fans, maintain a profound connection with. Though the days of watching Joe DiMaggio in centerfield are over, I would like the vivid images and memories that were so much a part of the lives of an older generation to be released in their youthful energy and vitality through my artwork.