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A Guide to the Best of Southern California : GALLERIES : American Icons in Watercolor

September 02, 1990|ELLEN ALPERSTEIN

FOR MANY, the term sport art is oxymoronic. Apart from the rare "Discus Thrower," athletics doesn't seem to inspire fine art that pleases both critics and consumers. But now sports and art lovers with refined sensibilities can indulge their passions at the Sports and Entertainment Gallery in Venice. Particularly noteworthy among the gallery's current offerings is the work of local artist and inveterate baseball fan, Robert Myers.

Myers relies on his eclectic assortment of late-'50s/early-'60s baseball cards as inspiration for his large watercolor portraits (which sell for $1,500 to $5,000). "I'm not a baseball-card collector," he insists. "I'm interested in them only from an artistic perspective. Unlike today's cards, which are bland portraiture, the older versions are not photorealism but neo-pop art. They are American icons." He is attracted to a card primarily by the player's apparent attitude. "I want a subject who knows he's being viewed. I look for that confrontational, dramatic moment that's shared among the subject, the painter and the viewer."

Sports and Entertainment Gallery, in the Venice Renaissance Project, 245 Main St., Venice; (213) 392-5583.

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