Monday, April 3, 2017

Play Ball!

In 1839, some significant events took place in the art world.

* Robert Cornelius took a daguerrotype self-portrait, the earliest known existing photographic portrait of a human in America.

  * Paul Cezanne, French impressionist, was born.
* * John Butler Yeats, Irish painter, was born.

And in the tiny Upstate New York mountain village of Cooperstown, a young man named Abner Doubleday purportedly invented the game…and the word… "baseball," designing the diamond, indicating fielders' positions, and writing the rules.

Welcome to the April edition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.

It’s my annual salute to our National Pastime (where we conveniently ignore the strides made by the NFL as it, socially and economically, has supplanted MLB as the nation’s leading Sport; but I digress. And, I don’t care…)

We introduced this column through the lens of art, for that’s what we concentrate on, once a month. More specifically, we talk about…and display…caricatures.  

But Baseball is so woven into the fabric of this country’s being, that American artists – pretty much since 1839 – have chronicled the Game in their own particular fashion.

Some contemporary ones, caricaturists – and favorites of mine – are showcased here (and above -- "Charlie Brown," by Charles M. Schultz):

Derek Jeter, by Robert Smith

"Whiff!" by Mort Drucker

Minnesota Twins, by Tom Richmond

"Play at the Plate," by Jack Davis

Yours truly has had his turn at bat, too, in recent times:

Jordan Danks was the Charlotte Knights career hits leader; yours truly was commissioned by the Knights to create this as a gift to him and his family.

Michael Brent, old friend and artist extraordinaire...and longtime Yankees (and Mickey Mantle fan)

Pete Rose, right, as he agreed to speak at a local Charlotte networking function.

Benjamin Kweskin, which his Dad drew as a Sign-In Board for his Bar Mitzvah...

And that’s the game! Tune in the first Tuesday of next month as we step up to the plate for another swing at pop culture through caricature art…and Caricatures by Joel. 

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