"We Love Our Team" Oil on Canvas by Ernie Barnes
By perhaps the most important African American Sports artist of all. Ernie Barnes (1938-2009), a former NFL/AFL player is famous for his dream-like dedication to sports, boasting a cacophony of elongated figures dancing in universal movement. They instill a scene of realism through their expressive nature. Best Known for his album cover art for Marvin Gaye, known as "Sugar Shack" it is now in the collection of Eddie Murphy. It was later used in the opening of the TV series "Good Times" (1974-79), with all of his work stepping in as the work of the lead character, J.J. Evans, who coined the ultimate 1970's catch phrase "Dyn-O-Mite!" This piece is the perfect homage to the stadium fan. Gathered at the runway, they evoke the adoration of the game and they represent each of the stock characters who live behind the lines. From the disgruntled gentlemen with hands angrily thrust in pockets, the hennish mom with period flowered hat, the big mouth with fists of fury, the suffering man with an out-stretched arm to the heavens, as if he is directly crying to god and the tiny slumped saddened hombre bewildered with head in fists. to the solitary drinker with only a beer to mask his disappointment. Even the home team vendor is outraged. Obviously, Mighty Casey has struck out and the call has not gone their way. This is Barnes' earliest work and is perhaps the finest sports painting we have yet offered. Ernie Barnes' paintings usually sell in the tens of thousands and this is one of his bests, in terms of size, subject, age, quality, detail and finally, execution. Never before offered. This is from a close associate of Barnes. 29" x 38" overall in original frame hand painted by the artist.