ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! this unique poster by artist Jamie Cooper is slam dunk for any Yankees fan. The artists detail and symbolism is amazing.
In Ruth’s case, for instance, the painter looked to show the slugger’s “primal nature, his indulgences and flamboyance, his flawed genius if you like,” said Cooper. “His overflowing locker represents, not only his chaotic life off the field but the magnetic attraction he had on the public. He was the man, the idol, the superstar.”
Since Ruth was a famous after-hours participant, the “Sultan of Swat” sometimes needed “the seltzer of soothe,” or bicarbonate of soda, for his stomach. Cooper found a 1920s brand of bicarb soda and put some in the Babe’s locker. Other Ruthian items in the “Scene” include his choice of cigars, a handful of autographed baseballs and some fur coats.
The DiMaggio part, meanwhile, might have even made Joe D. crack a smile.
“Joe is said to have been a more even, placid natured man, so I chose this great pose of him enjoying a post-game Chesterfield (cigarette),” said Cooper. “It was the 1940s and ’50s, and things were a little different. Joe was the wholesome face of Chesterfield, so it was suggested to me that he must have a smoke “on the go.”
Joining the carton of cigarettes in Joe D.’s locker: a newspaper clipping from his 56-game hitting streak and a picture of his beloved Marilyn Monroe.
We see Mantle, however, as a smiling and fresh-faced player from the mid-1950s, around the time he won the Triple Crown.
“It was a decision to show him at this stage of his career as opposed to the more rough-edged older Mick of the early ’60s,” said the Aussie. “He has a Ballantine (beer) in hand and leans in to join the fun. His locker is full of bandages and tape in readiness for the injuries that were to come.”
Another nice subtle touch to Mantle’s section: His locker frame is etched with markings representing his 18 World Series home runs.
The artist chose Gehrig, with a period first baseman’s mitt at his feet, to be the artwork’s central figure.
“The one serene, humble base to this elite group. Whilst the big personalities swirl around him, he sits quietly at the heart of this painting, at the core of what it is to be a Yankee,” said Cooper.
The sports portrait expert said he decided to portray Jeter, wearing his lucky Air Jordan wristband, as the only hatless player in the piece for artistic reasons – the key one being the angle of the shortstop’s head.
“Because I needed Jeter leaning in and looking down, putting a cap with a peak on him would have obscured his face,” he noted.
“I wanted him walking into the scene as the latest person to join the group, a group into which he truly belongs. He is placing a respectful hand on Lou’s shoulder, acknowledging Gehrig’s legacy as a player and a man,” said the artist.
“Jeter fills in the most recent chapter of Yankees’ history, with him the story of the club’s elite is brought up to date,” said Cooper. “For over 100 years this great club has consistently produced players that stand out at the very top.”
The Australian pointed out that the most difficult aspect of putting together a “Dream Scene” boiled down to one primary focus: “Capturing the perceived essence of a person’s character.”
Since people possess multi-faceted natures, which show themselves at different moments, portraying these baseball icons, he said, was challenging to “get it right.” The Scene’s creator “chose different moods for the five guys to create a variation of emotions in the scene, and for the viewer.”
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