Bigindicator

Geoffry Smalley

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20140620133941-catskill_creek__citi_field__thomas_cole_
20140620133925-aaron_hernandez
20140620134015-paper_tiger
20140620134014-nationals_building__matthew_brady_
20140620133935-aiding_a_comrade__outside__candlestick_park__frederic_remington_
20140620134000-field_general
20140620133950-cowboy
20140620133946-chief
20140620133951-cowboys_caravan
20140620133954-dome_at_the_old_mill__george_innes_
20140620133938-bird_man
20140620133958-early_morning_at_cold_spring__across_home_run_cove__asher_durand_
20140620134006-marine_off_big_rock__splash_hit_cove__john_frederick_kensett_
20140620134003-hog
20140620134018-the_course_of_empire__rebuild__thomas_cole_
20140620133721-smalley_head_shot
Quick Facts
Birthplace
Chicago
Birth year
1973
Lives in
Chicago
Works in
Chicago
Schools
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2002, MFA Painting
University of Illinois at Chicago
Tags
installation, sculpture
Statement

The Big Three

 

 

To Understand the history of American team sports is to understand our national development. From our rural, agrarian beginnings comes baseball: originally played during the day, on a “field”, tethered to the elements, with no clock, rife with personal failure, overcome. Out of the Industrial Revolution came football. The synchronicity of specialized moving parts, the restrictions of performing tasks within a time limit, the taking of land by force-a blithe reflection of a nation at work and at war. The post-industrial era saw a rise in the popularity of basketball. Free-formed and creative, individualism within a collaborative scheme, stripped of gear and protection and played at a continuous pace. The “big three”American sports are, at their core, representations of our past and so they embody our parochial and national allegiances, and in part define our ethos.

The games that professionals play are staged in architectural wonders only found in urban centers. The modern sports stadia are “homes”, cathedrals to their sport, icons of urban planning, and big time money makers. They are triumphs over nature, with vast fields of perfect grass grown partially indoors when retractable roofs stave off the harsher elements. They are gleaming examples of man vs. nature and again mirror the moment when Americans' roots were re-planted into city plots. The stadia are visible signs of bustling urban development and activity, in spite of the fact that they sit idle for half a year, every year. After the crowds disperse and fireworks fade, we are left with grand sporting vistas, quiet pilgrimage sites for dedicated and decorated masses.