Have you ever heard of Pat Riot? If you're a voracious reader of The Baseball Card Blog and have devoured all of its pages, then I'll assume you know who he is. But if you're new to the blog (welcome!), you have to check his work out. His re-faced cards are little masterpieces of pop-culture art.
It's been a while since we heard from him, but Riot's got a new show coming up in Los Angeles. Opening May 25th at the Known Gallery and titled "Out of Left Field," it promises a full gallery of baseball-card and bubblegum art.
What is bubblegum art? Well, it's kind of exactly what it sounds like: art made out of chewed bubblegum. I'll admit it, that sounds gross. I mean, I've been to the gum wall in Seattle, and while impressive, that much chewed gum is disgusting. And yet... check out these photos that Pat forwarded us...
But back to the main question: Why should you care? Besides Riot's work being classic pointillism, and besides it being created using an unexpected material, it's actually great.
I've been thinking a lot about sports art lately. Maybe it's because creating custom cards is fast becoming my favorite hobby, or maybe because The Baseball Card Blog's own Travis Peterson is featured in Beckett Sports Card Monthly in their June "Art" issue. But sports art walks a fine line between legitimate and that horrible, dreadful catch-all word so beloved by critics: irreverent.
If anything, creating sports artwork out of gum is definitely reverential. And if I were Riot, I wouldn't be surprised if the Baseball Reliquary came knocking when all is said and done. Actually, the more I think about it the more this pairing makes sense: they're both based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area; one creates reverential baseball art and the other collects and curates it; and they're both out of the mainstream.
Riot's show will also feature a lot of his re-faced baseball card work. You can read all about the show here.