I’m not a huge baseball fan, but it does seem strange to be in the middle of summer with no baseball going on – or any sports, for that matter, due to the coronavirus pandemic. But in thinking about baseball, or rather the lack of baseball, it brought to mind some drawings I saw by artist Kyle Orlando at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City last September, during an Open Studios day there.
I was admiring the paintings of Mr. Orlando out in the open gallery space, when I had a chance to meet the artist, who invited me to look at more of his work in his studio located within Mana Contemporary. He had numerous bound portfolios with lots and lots of great drawings that I was able to flip through. I like these two drawings together, since we have the batter swinging at left, and a close-up of a baseball with the words “3 strikes” below right. They weren’t necessarily meant as a pair, but I love them together. (one thing to note here: these drawings were in plastic sleeves, so the view of them is somewhat altered by the reflection of the plastic sleeves, but you still get the idea)
As he describes in his artist statement, Kyle Orlando’s work “… fetishizes American iconography. Cars are human, cowboys are boring, and screaming cheetahs are beautiful. Kyle believes painting is a way to purge anxiety and binge self-worth.”
Since he mentions cars and cheetahs, it only makes sense to show a couple works with these subjects – below left is a car crash painting, and below right is one of several cheetah paintings that he had in the studio as well. Hopefully this gives you a better feel for his work beyond the drawings shown above. For more on Kyle Orlando and his work, please click on either (or both) of this links included above.