September 21, 2012

Hudler's World

He's demonstrated oppage with authority. He hasn't let paralysis by analysis set in. He's hacked so we can't send him back. He's been a humble, ride-the-pine-for-nine guy. And he's held a baseball in his hand for six straight months. The man has paid his dues. 

Come on. You knew this was coming.

It was only a matter of time before Rex Hudler was enshrined in the Royals Museum of Art.

The artist commissioned for this piece is 68-year-old Frik Bartram, an obscure painter and old hippie whose art most identifies with the Regionalism Movement. Toiling away in an old corn crib barn turned art studio near the tiny Iowa township of Dundee, Bartram has recently been gaining attention for magnificent parodies of well-known works of art. His Hudler piece, rendered in brilliant tempera on a large canvas, is sure to be one of the cornerstone works on display at the Royals Museum of Art.

We now present to you Splintered, 32¼" × 47¾".

While Hudler's face isn't shown, it's unmistakably him. He lies in a stark landscape, his legs underneath him, clutching his baseball, staring at the ballfield positioned far away on the horizon. His lonely desperation to stay in the game, to remain in some capacity in the sport that once defined him, is apparent. The familiarity of the game, of its cliches, is his only nourishment. He was a failure as a ballplayer, a first-round draft pick who was nothing more than a little-used utility man, and he wishes he had been better. He overcompensates as an announcer, bloviating at every turn, making his failure in this second baseball career all the more devastating. A field of dreams? Hardly.

Mr. Bartram, this truly is a masterpiece.

Go Art! You're the Best!


  1. Mr. Bartram achieves the apotheosis of Royals Regionalism with this oblique, contemplative glimpse of the Wonder Dog.

    Hold tight to that pill, Rexy.

    1. Tim, I think we owe you and Royally Speaking about 85% of our traffic. Thank you kindly, sir.


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