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01 September 2017
By Lee Walton
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Red Storm Baseball Drawings, 2018

Diamonds, Rings and Courts: Sport is More Than a Game, St. Johns University, Queens, NY, Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery



Diamonds, Rings & Courts: Sport is More Than a Game was an exhibition that took place at St. John’s University and focused on the unexpected ways that sports are embedded within our culture and present in our everyday lives.


For this exhibition, I wanted to connect my art and the exhibition with one of the sports teams of St. John’s University. To do this, I created a series of 21 drawings based on every 2016-2017 home game of St. Johns Red Storm Baseball team. These 21 drawings were created in accordance to systems and rules that translated and recorded the action of the Red Storm athletes into each drawing.


For this series, I wanted to rupture my own routine of production and question the boundaries between digital and analog creation, authenticity of the handmade mark, appropriation, and traditional printmaking aesthetics. My intention was to create a series of drawings that blurred the distinction between analog and digital. To do this, I created a system that involved both hand-made drawing actions as well as digital actions.


Beyond analog pencil and ink marks I also made digital actions. In response to an error in the baseball game, I used Photoshop to create a line that resembled that of an intaglio line, a player hit by a pitch was recorded by appropriating a paint drip from Robert Rauschenberg’s painting Factum I, the total number of strike outs in a game would determine a section of Henry Matisse’s crayon drawing Femme En Fauteuil, and innings in which players received a base on balls were recorded by a horizontal section of Agnes Martin’s painting Happy Holiday. Below the surface of each drawing a portion of the official box score from each game can be seen with every number (1-9) covered with a John Baldessari-inspired circle of an assigned color. Additionally, I used Photoshop to create a subtle layer of light green transparency to simulate the look of Japanese Gampi paper and the ancient chine colle’ printmaking technique.

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