Through Henry's Eyes
Through Henry's Eyes
Oil on canvas, wood, stained glass, photographs and found objects
41 x 72
Available for purchase. Please contact the artist.
This large-scale portrait of Henry “Hank” Aaron depicts him a few years past mid-career after Milwaukee’s move to Atlanta. Based on an otherwise insignificant press photo, the painting shows Aaron warming up before the 1969 All-Star game. The image is cropped such that his quiet, contemplative expression and relaxed stance is augmented by what looks like an empty field but a full grandstand blurred in the background. At this point, Aaron has quietly established himself as one of Major League Baseball’s all-time greats. If he stays healthy he will be closing in on Babe Ruth’s home run record in just a few more seasons.
Buried in the crowd are four spyglasses. One is clearly highlighted by a shield directly in front of Aaron’s gaze. The “peepholes” afford views of photographs depicting defining moments in American history, one of them being Aaron’s home run number 715 which broke Ruth’s record. These photos follow the trajectory of Aaron’s long and distinguished career from the mid 1950’s to the mid 1970’s in a chronology of past and future, placed behind and in front of him, respectively. They invite the viewer to move close to the work, to look in, and to contemplate, perhaps as Aaron did, these events which undoubtedly shaped his career as they did our country.