Sunday, May 27, 2018

Pete Rose (1985) Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s Pete Rose portrait was the idea of Cincinnati based art collector Carl Solway. Solway got into fine art collecting almost by accident. He attended University of Pennsylvania where he met his first wife who was working at the Philadelphia Art Museum. This connection led Solway to a return to his native Cincinnati and a career as an art dealer.

Pete Rose

In 1985 Carl Solway was driving home listening to a Reds game on the radio when broadcaster and former player Joe Nuxhall mentioned that Pete Rose was expected to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record later that year. This gave Solway an idea

“It would be so cool if the art community could do something about that, instead of just the jocks and the sports people” 

He discussed the idea with the Cincinnati Art Museum and Andy Warhol’s agent. Everyone agreed to the deal and a price of $100,000 was set for the commission. However Andy Warhol had one question:

“Who is Pete Rose”

Eventually Andy Warhol did find out who Pete Rose was and created this really fun portrait.

Pete Rose (1985)

The portrait is the property of the Cincinnati Art Museum where it hangs whenever it is not on loan. It measures approximately 9x7' with each of the individual panels 54x44"

This is the last of Andy Warhol’s three major baseball related paintings and features several of his signature techniques:
  1. It is of course a silkscreen
  2. It is bright and colorful – lets face it if your subject is Pete Rose you better be colorful
  3. Seriagraph (Repetition)
  4. It appropriates a Photograph. This photograph is by Gordon Baer and appeared in "Pete Rose on Hitting"
  5. It appropriates a familiar artifact of pop culture, in this case the design of a 1985 Baseball Card
It is interesting to compare and contrast Pete Rose with Baseball (1962). While the paintings appear very different, there are many stylistic gestures that remain. The biggest difference is Black & White vs Color. For similarities we have Two Silkscreens, Two Photographs used for Appropriation, and Two Seriagraphs.

Of course the serigraph for Rose is totally different than Baseball/Maris. Limiting Rose to Four large images rather than three dozen smaller ones makes the subject instantly recognizable, whereas in Baseball we are not even sure that the picture is of Roger Maris.

 “Pete Rose” made it’s debut at the Cincinnati Art Museum on September 10 1985, in a case of remarkably good timing this was just a day prior to the night that Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s record.

For more detailed  information check out the various links below for interesting stories regarding 
Andy Warhol’s “Pete Rose” (unlinked titles are columns that I hope to cover in the future)
SABR Presentation: The Andy Warhol Triple Play (the Rose portion starts at 5:00)
The related slides can be downloaded here
Carl Solway
Donahue (1985 SEP 12) 
1985 Topps
Golden Ratio
Reds @ Mets 1985 JUL 22-24 (The portrait sitting that never happened / Phyllis George Memorial)
Gordon Baer  (Pete Rose Batting RH & holding a white bat)
Switch Hitting
Pete Rose II (Lavender Single)
Pete Rose and Warhol after 1985

Trading Cards and Art
Jean-Michel Basquiat (Nick SABR BB Card Blog)
Don Celender
Dick Perez
Gerry Dvorak
Vernon Wells Sr
Bill Forsyth
Peter Max

Sources and Links
Andy Warhol Index
Pete Rose Index
Carl Solway
Solway Gallery
Cincinnati Art Museum
CityBeat 2010 May 19 “A Life in Artworks” - Steven Rosen
CityBeat 2010 Aug 24 “Warhol’s Pete Rose Portrait Turns 25” - Steven Rosen
City Beat 2015 Apr 7 "Warhol's Baseball Art is a Hit at CAM" - Steve Rosen
Sports Illustrated 1985 Aug 19 “On Deck For The Big Knock” Rick Reilly
New York Times 1985 Jul 14 “Rose Still Hustling, Still Hitting at 44” Ira Berkow
Andy Warhol Diaries (Pat Hackett) 
Pete Rose on HItting (Golenbock/Rose)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

ANNIVERSARY: 1993 May 10 - Phillies Win on Dauton Slam, Push record to 23-7

Today marks the 25th Anniversary of the first Grand Slam that I saw in person. This is a re-issue of a posting published here 5 years ago:

I had always been a baseball fan but in 1993 it reached another level. The 93 Phils is where my fascination with baseball as an adult began.

And if I was to point to a single game where this all happened it would have been the Pirates @ Phillies game on May 10th 1993.

1993 05 10 Game Ticket - Pirates 1 @ Phillies 5

The Phillies were coming off a big comeback win where Mariano Duncan had hit an 8th inning Grand Slam off of Lee Arther Smith.  Smith was one of the most dominating closers of the late 80s and The game completed a 3 game sweep of the St Louis Cardinals.

The next afternoon a colleague popped into my office and asked if I wanted to go down to the game.  It was the first time I had ever considered going to a Phils game on a whim - and I am glad I did.

The Pirates and Phils were knotted at 1 in the 7th inning, Lenny Dykstra reached with a one out single Mickey Morandini reached on a 2 base error and John Kruk was intentionally walked to load the basesDave Hollins grounded into a force at home setting up a bases loaded 2 out AB for team leader Darren Daulton.  And Daulton delivered - One day after Mariano Duncan hit a go-ahead slame Daulton had one of his own.  The Philllies had won 4 in a row and ran their record to 23-7 16 games over .500.  They would not look back going all the way to the World Series.

1994 Topps Black Gold #28 Darren Daulton

It was the first time I ever saw a Grand Slam in person and it was the first time I ever really understood what it was like to be watching a great baseball team. To this day it remains one of the greatest games I have ever been to.

Friday marks the 20th anniversary of that game - This year I plan on focussing on commemorating the 1983 Phillies NL Pennant but there will definitely be a few nods to the 1993 Clubs as well.

 Go Phightins!  

Sources and Links
1993 Phillies Index
Darren Daulton Index

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Tom Seaver (1977) Andy Warhol - The Polaroids

These are the pictures I have found from the Tom Seaver portrait sitting with Andy Warhol.

The sitting occurred on July 20 1977 during Seaver's emotional return to New York after being traded to the Cincinnati Reds. To read more about the session and Warhol's photographic process click here.

Danzinger Gallery
Danzinger Gallery

Design Boom

Design Boom


AP Images / Rene Perez 

Andy and Tom examining the photographs. Warhol would typically take 60-100 polaroids, notice all the used 4-flip flashbulbs in front of Seaver. In the pre-digital photo age Polaroids gave Warhol the best opportunity to get input from his subject in a timely manner.

Links and Sources
Andy Warhol Tom Seaver Index
Andy Warhol Index
Danzinger Gallery
Design Boom
Rene Perez

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions