Saturday, June 14, 2008
Twenty-five years ago, Bob Bateman first visited Gallery One. Sure, his work was outstanding. He brought wildlife imagery to a whole new level artistically. But as those works graced the walls of our gallery and the walls of our collectors, they spoke to us all. They tempted us to learn more about his wildlife subjects. They awakened environmental concerns in us all.
His "Coyote in the Winter Sage," one of his earliest print releases, has luckily been released now as a canvas giclee. As the coyote stands on a glacial ridge, we are reminded that the coyote is our North American wild dog. That masterful image might have been enough...but Bob had a message to convey. That was back in 1980 - thirty years ago - and Bob gave us something to ponder by simply including a crumpled beer can in the gravel terrain.
That image is powerful, artistic, compelling on its own....and a great decorating tool for our homes and work places. But like his 2008 release, "Global Warning," (showing the polar bear swimming endlessly looking for solid footing) and so many of his images through the years, the environment takes center stage.
As we drove to the airport to fetch Bob last night, I found myself trying to sort out his standing in this world of ours. Bob may argue with me....but, speaking of my lifetime, the music world is defined by Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand...of course, Leonard Bernstein and Pavarotti. The computer world is defined by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Architecture is defined by Frank Lloyd Wright and I. M. Pei. The movie industry by Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and Walt Disney. And the art world is defined by Pablo Picasso, Andrew Wyeth and Robert Bateman.
That's all for now. NL