Monday, December 17, 2007

Joe Deal & Artball

My to do list includes the final wrap up of the Artball lineups that were sent to me around the time of the World Series. This week, I promise. I had a wonderful exchange with my old friend Joe Deal about the concept. He was pondering a Gallic-inflected History of Photography lineup. Alas, my laptop meltdown devoured the exchange, and I've only just realized it. Drat! Perhaps I can coax a resend from him. He winkingly provided a hilarious Francophone take on Tinkers to Evers to Chance.

Fact is, a manager compiling a serious History of Photography lineup using Americans from the second half of the 20th century would have to give Joe Deal serious consideration. He hits for power and average. He's precise--plays the game it was meant to be played. He designs beautifully and thinks rigorously--a true switch hitter (shown as a lefty above). I've inked him in at the hot corner, which is one of several places he could play. These days he's lost a little mobility, but he can still DH. I see a heroic Kirk Gibson at bat in the 88 World Series against Eckersley--the guy could barely walk but he parked it. Same Deal. As it were.

Below are several images from Joe's Beach Cities series from the mid-70s. Above is a single image from his Topos folio, which was a documentary project associated with the construction of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. I had craftily arranged with Betsy Ruppa, my dear old friend, expert printer and Deal spouse to email me some of Joe's recent work, a mission in which she was sneakily complicit, but this too vanished in smoking circuits. So now I'll have to ask.

Making his baseball card and looking at these images again have focused my thoughts on Joe and Betsy. So I say on behalf of more than a few: your old friends in St. Louis are thinking of you this holiday season...

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