MY FATHER was signed in 1919 by John McGraw of the N.Y.Giants and played professional baseball until 1938, the year I was born. In the 60's, when I lived in Los Angeles, I painted portraits from life. I once showed them to Ivan Karp of OK Harris Gallery who said, "Nobody paints from life anymore but the neo-petit-bourgeois." Because I painted portraits, I accepted a commission to do a series of caricatures of politicians faces on the bodies of baseball players. These were intended as series of politician baseball cards. The voting record would be printed on the back. Nothing came of the cards but it caused me to think about a photo of my father sliding into home against the background of a packed stadium. An umpire leaned in from the left and the on-deck batter leaped in excitement on the right. This moment seemed strangely still. I was reminded of a Greek temple pediment or a modern dance tableaux.
Lance Richbourg, Sr.
This became the source of my first baseball painting and has been the primary subject matter of my work ever since. I would debate anyone that baseball is far superior to any other sport in terms of its beauty, the range of skills required to play, and its clarity and subversion of time. As an artist, I have been satisfied with the possibilities of depicting the light and space of the playing field and the grace of player movements amidst explosive action.