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In honor of the beloved Captain's farewell tour, NYC-based photorealist Adam Port has created the ultimate homage to his hometown hero. This is Derek Jeter as we remember him best: Focused, poised, proud. Ready to deliver in the clutch. Eternally upholding the grand Yankee tradition handed down to him by immortal torchbearers Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle.
See here the familiar Air Jordan apparel; see there the commemorative sleeve patch for the final season at Yankee Stadium I—the hallowed "House That Ruth Built." It was back in that third of Derek's five championship seasons, 1999, when Michael Jordan hand-selected Mr. November to be the first Jordan Brand-endorsed baseball player. And it was back in 2008 when Jeter famously took the mound, teammates huddled around him, Bronx faithful hanging on his every word, to say goodbye to Baseball's Cathedral:
"For all of us up here, it's a huge honor to put this uniform on every day and come out here and play. And every member of this organization, past and present, has been calling this place home for 85 years. There's a lot of tradition, a lot of history, and a lot of memories. Now the great thing about memories is you're able to pass it along from generation to generation. And although things are going to change next year, we're going to move across the street, there are a few things with the New York Yankees that never change—that's pride, that's tradition, and most of all, we have the greatest fans in the world."
Who could forget that moment? The team tipping their caps together. The Captain leading his men on a poignant last lap as Sinatra's "New York, New York" echoed through those same rafters that once upon a time had witnessed Gehrig's Luckiest Man speech.
Now, on this historic occasion of Jeter's 2014 swan song, as each franchise in turn showers him with praise and gifts, Adam Port pays his own masterful tribute to the diamond idol of our generation. Yet again, Port has succeeded in transforming reality into mind-bending virtual reality, crafting a successor every bit as dazzling as his works from last year's acclaimed "Legendary Icons Series."
Dimensions: 23" x 29", matted and framed to measure 37" x 43".
Q & A with Adam Port
Legendary: Derek Jeter has probably been photographed as much as any athlete on the planet. Out of all those countless images, what was it about the details of this pose that made you say, "THAT is the one I want to paint."
Port: To me, this is Jeter. This is what we all think of when we mentally picture him. The concentration in his eyes. The statuesque stance. The powerful swing under pressure. The Yankee and Jordan logos. But truth is, most of these decisions about subject come down to subconscious gut instincts. This one felt perfect. I knew it right when I saw it.
Legendary: An especially striking element is how you manage to re-create the appearance of different surface textures—like the shiny plastic of the batting helmet, soft faux-leather of the batting gloves, mesh cushion of the elbow pad, and taut fabric of the uniform. Can you describe the process?
Port: Textures are tricky. I have to meticulously interpret the visual information in the photo reference. For example, the polished batting helmet required bright whites where the light reflects and then smooth transitions between the darker and lighter areas. For the gloves, pad and uniform, I mimicked the various surfaces by creating subtle contrast where there are grooves in the fabric material.
Legendary: Talk to us about the background and border choices.
Port: I knew I wanted a dark backdrop so Jeter would really "pop" off the painting. Then I applied some faint details here and there to add more depth to the scene. And the way his bat, elbow and waist are overlapping the white border margins puts the finishing touch on the 3D-like effect I was aiming for. Hopefully viewers feel like they're right there in the batter's box with him.
This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.