Painter Dick Perez calls baseball “the portal to my American experience,” and his paintings reflect this, bringing the sport to life for his viewers. His upcoming exhibition at Agora Gallery systematically chronicles the history of baseball through painting. The exhibit runs March 26-April 16 at the Agora Galley in New York City. For more information, visit www.agora-gallery.com/artistpage/Dick_Perez.aspx.
Perez, who has been the official artist of both the Philadelphia Phillies and the National
Baseball Hall of Fame, vividly captures scenes of the greats in action. While there are artists who have been inspired by baseball, few have devoted the greater part of an entire collection of work to the game. It initially seems unrealistic that one can gain success by dealing with such a narrow genre; Perez is a wonderful anomaly in this regard.
Perhaps the most ambitious of baseball artists, he creates action scenes unconfined by the scope of the baseball diamond that place the world of this sport in a larger universe of artistic expression. By incorporating subtleties which reference historical events and scandals surrounding the game and its individual players, Perez conveys his exclusive visual commentary on the sport, a true symbol of the American civic doctrine.
"I have thousands and thousands of photo images on my hard drive from photo collections I have purchased, hundreds of baseball books, and vintage sports magazines," Perez said. "I use all of this material to create my own pictorial reference. I
deliberately work from black and white, which allows me to be more inventive with color, and more dramatic with tonal values. The treatment of grass, skies, and dirt are pure inventions. Though I am impressed that some artists take the inordinate amount of time to paint every fan in the stands, I would rather suggest or loosely render that part of the
picture. My subject matter, baseball, is a remarkable and inspiring one. But ultimately, what concerns me most is the art itself, and the opportunity it provides to create a new world, which in turn provides a new way of viewing this one."
The Agora Galley will hold a public reception on April 4 from 6-8 p.m. The gallery is located at 530 West 25th St., New York, NY 10001. Call 212-226-4151 for more information.