Out of my way, Ice Wagon, I’m coming home! — Ty Cobb
From Ty Cobb, an artist can learn to get out of the way of your subject, or it might run you over.
In this commission, I chose to suggest a vintage baseball card of the talented and criminally aggressive Detroit Tigers outfielder, Ty Cobb, and to do so through proportion, pose and color. I bring an ordinarily static subject to life with him coming unstuck, ducking and reaching beneath and beyond the card’s own border.
Ty Cobb, aka “The Georgia Peach”, was as Southern as Coca-Cola, and was in fact an early and wealthy shareholder of the same, so I incorporated the logo, maybe on the leftfield wall. For a baseball’s-eye view of the scene, I elongated the ball itself, Anime-style, to suggest dynamism, and maybe to presage the Internationalism of the sport. The ball appears less monolithic when I use two tones, one being the tan of an antique baseball (in this case with Cobb’s autograph), and the other being the clay-rubbed sheen of a fresh baseball.
My client at first thought this image didn’t look much like Ty Cobb, forcing me to ask him “Then who do you think it doesn’t look like Ty Cobb?” I had him there. Strike three!