Baseball Flags: A World Series, New Work by Patrick Donley

Baseball Flags: A World Series, New Work by Patrick Donley

February 21 - March 24, 2024
Opening Reception:
First Friday Gallery Walk, 5-8:00pm
Special Music: Joe Langfitt & Bill Lorton, 6-7:30pm

Artist's Statement:
This series began as an excuse to use the imagery of America’s Game in my art.  For years, I have been fascinated by the gritty, rugged, glorious, and often tarnished visual lexicon of baseball, a game full of heroes, heroines, legends, myths, successes and failures.

The flag metaphor, though related to pennants, was somewhat accidental.  I had been making paintings on paper composed of horizontal bands, like the strata of the earth, or like the stripes on a flag. The paintings being on paper felt more ephemeral, more flag-like.  I came across a cache of baseball images I had saved including some torn up baseball cards found while walking my dogs (the source for much of my collage), and I began embedding the players in the layers of color.  Thus the Baseball Flags were born.  The first flags were mainly suggestive of flags, very colorful with lots of random collage, words and letters buried in the paint.  After making about ten or so, I chose to leave the idea for a while.

Several years and several bodies of work ensued, then I decided to revisit the flags.  I researched how many countries are actually represented by players throughout Major League Baseball.  Twenty-something is the rough tally.  Fascinated, from that point on, I focused on flags of countries who have contributed players to the sport.

At this point, I began to connect the dots between our military presence throughout the world and the growth of baseball in many of those places.  It makes sense.  Where our army has gone and established a long term presence, there has sprouted an interest (however small) in America’s game:  Japan, Korea, Germany, Cuba, Vietnam.  But the list extends well beyond that to some places that honestly I could not guess why players would come from there:  Australia, the Netherlands, Aruba, Venezuela, Columbia, Greece, Taiwan, Curacao, Brazil.  And the list goes on.  So now the flags of refugee countries may fall into the category of “future” players.  Who knows?

It does fascinate me that while Futbol (Soccer) is the World’s game, Baseball has “the World Series”, and now, for me, that phrase makes a little more sense.

Patrick Donley, is Juniper's Artist of the Month (March 2024). He is offering his paintings in the Legacy (main) Gallery at a 15% discount for a limited time only! 
See those paintings  here. 

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