27TH WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP!
STEPHEN HOLLAND & OPIE OTTERSTAD
Stephen will unveil his new portraits of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera & Alex Rodriguez, and Opie will unveil his much anticipated painting of The NY Yankees 27th World Series Victory Celebration.
Saturday, April 17th, 2010
7pm to 9pm
Pop International Galleries
473 West Broadway, New York, NY
As a young painter Stephen Holland could not afford to hire live models, and so the images he found in boxing and other sports magazines became his subjects. He saw on those pages, the male form in all its power and glory, expressed as contemporary gladiators, conveying to him the determination and hard work any athlete must have to be a winner.
Indeed, Holland found great inspiration for himself as a young artist in those magazines. He put as much discipline, devotion and determination into his own work as the subjects he painted, always striving to make art that reflected and expressed their athleticism as they reached such high levels of achievement and physical prowess.
None of this came easily for Holland. As a child he was handicapped and had to watch his family and friends play sports. The steel brace he wore on his leg prevented him from attending neighborhood schools. But handicaps often heighten one's other sensitivities.
This proved true for Stephen as his talents developed elsewhere. His gift for drawing grew as he sat and sketched his friends. Though his mother used to say he began drawing as soon as he could hold a pencil, Stephen's abilities actually blossomed while attending a special high school which devoted half of each day to art studies. He later attended the Art Students League, the School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute, all in New York City.
Holland's talent and contributions to art and sports received national recognition in 1993, when the American Sport Art Museum awarded him the honor of Sports Artist of the Year. Other honors include being the Official Artist of the Los Angeles Kings and being one of the twelve artists selected by the United States Olympic Committee to represent the 100th Anniversary of the Olympics. His work is found in the collections of celebrities, athletes, and private collectors around the globe.
There are as many stories that led to Opie Otterstad becoming an artist as there are stories about him as an artist. The journey began as three-year-old drawing during his fathers' sermons and continued along through his young life as his identity as an artist was burned deep into his person.
The lighthouse that led him in the direction of the rocky shore where sport and art meet, was Fran Pirozzolo. One of the leading sports psychologists in the world, Fran saw Opie working on some drawings while working a summer job at Baylor College of Medicine and asked if he did more than just draw. That led to commissions from Fran for Evander Holyfield, Greg Norman, and Berhard Langer. He has been a ship caught in that storm ever since.
Otterstad's choice is to live the life of an artist whose era has past, taking time to get to know his patrons and subjects as friends. His commissioned works have become statements about his own life in that they each represent the relationships in his life. They are personal expressions about the people he knows and calls friends. He takes a lot of time to create work that speaks to more than just an individual's sports life, but rather his or her entire life. Long cross country road trips to visit athletes where they live are not uncommon. He feels that a better understanding of his subject produces better paintings. His commitment to pushing his own boundaries has led to commission lists from the sports world that pile up on his studio docket.