Thursday, January 31, 2013

EASY RIDER and BASEBALL ... Cool Finds # 2

I pretty much consider myself a free spirit. I like rock'n'roll and ride motorcycles. So I've been wanting to display my classic album cover from the cult movie EASY RIDER.  The soundtrack vinyl album, which is now out of print, was one of my previous garage sale finds.

A quick look at the playlist shows an early heavy metal sound of Jimi Henrix, Steppenwolf and The Byrds.
The film starred Peter Fonda and a very young Dennis Hopper who co-wrote the script. It also starred a youthful future Oscar winner - Jack Nicholson.
I kinda dig the buckskin jacket with tassels. But when I first started riding, helmets were manditory. And to me, helemts were very uncool and cumbersome. In the movie, Hopper wears a hat and Nicholson a make-shift football helmet. (see below) But Fonda wears the iconic "Captain America" helmet.
I wish I had found this in those early days - a.k.a. Evil Knievel helmet - with a glitter stars and stripes design.  It cost me the nice nostalgic price of one dollar.
Now, after I clean it up a bit, I'll display it next to the record album.
Along with Leroy Neiman, many artists of the 1960's and 70's found sports to be the subject of iconic colors. They were predecessors to today's Peter Max and others who junk colors to make "sports art".
Memorable athletes, and memorable games like the 1958 New York Giants - Baltimore Colts NFL Championship (below) was painted by TONY KOKINOS. It was later used as a premium for a gas station give-away. (yes - they used to give stuff away at the gas station - water and air were free)
I happened to go to a sale where the owners were relatives of Tony Kokinos. They had two specimens of artwork out on the driveway. One in particular, of a baseball pitcher, caught my attention. There was something vaguely familiar to this painting.
I knew I had to have it. It was very good. Not great, mind you, but in the eye of the beholder - classic 1970's. So when I got home, I began to search for this image. And after a few hours this ...
Jim "Catfish" Hunter (Oakland A's / N.Y. Yankees) - Hall of Famer and one of my idols.
I picked up a second work as well. This was a signed mixed medium painting of a batter, pitcher, catcher and umpire. The piece just reminded me of the late 1960's or early 1970's.
Further research revealed Kokinos was a prolific illustrator working in New York for several famous magazines like Collier's and illustrating a great number of paperback book covers from the 1950's to the 1970's.
I was pleased to walk away with 2 nice vintage artworks for $5.00 !

1 comment:

Hackenbush said...

Sports artwork for five bucks. Yes please! Nice.