Ernie Barnes Two Linemen
Available for purchase as of: April 17, 2014
Two Linemen from The Portfolio of Football Art.
Behind the helmeted bars of pro football’s legendary linemen are men who thrive on physical contact. These men, all of whom have surpassed their growth potential, show a cool disregard for the hand-to-hand battle in the line. They learned early – from the time they began to play – that one need not cringe from contact and that one need fear no one, regardless of size or mouth.
NOTES: Printed by offset lithography, all fine art prints by Ernie Barnes are inspected to ensure an accurate rendition of the original canvas. Each fine art print is sold unframed.
Two Linemen , by Ernie Barnes Ernie Barnes
FROM THE ARTIST:
Here is a drawing which really needs no explanation. It is a drawing portraying the moods and excitement in the game of football – a game which does strange things to men…makes them lose their heads…makes them hate. It is primeval combat…elbows and shoulder pads…muscle and helmets. It is a George Plimpton discovered, no place for Walter Mitty. I have tried, in my art to re-embody all of the elements of the game in order to portray my subject as fact…deliberately distorting the body in order to inject the strength and the spirit of the men who play the game. It is almost impossible to introduce the athlete in the art of satisfying his thirst for competitiveness in athletics…unless the mood and guts of the game are dramatically expressed. Even before my pencil touches the paper, I mentally strip my idea of its concrete accompaniments – in order to inject my composition with actual reality and spirit.
If football is to be the subject then football should be felt when the drawing is complete.
My experiences in the game where guts, desire and a total disregard for personal safety are prime prerequisites provided the nucleus around which this drawing is formed. One of the luckiest brakes I had as an athlete came in 1960 when I was signed to an American Football League contract with the San Diego Chargers. Here I played in the arena with men who felt that this opportunity to play professional football was the greatest gift since their first bicycle. We suffered ridicule and prejudice from people who said that our league wouldn’t last. Sometimes the only audience seemed to be the concession workers and the custodians.
But we continued to play and dedicate our strength and energies to the game we loved and enjoyed.
Now, with five years of professional football behind me, I am proud of having played in a league where dedication, pride and confidence formed the roots of its success. Thanks to the American Football League, my art talent developed with purity as a result of my opportunity to play. Now this drawing which is a view from the arena floor, has been capsuled for you to enjoy. ERNIE BARNES.
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