Sunday, September 29, 2013
PAINTING PINSTRIPE PRIDE:GRAIG KREINDLER
"The Four Yankees are what’s important," says Graig Kreindler, "Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, and Babe Ruth."
If you are even a casual fan of baseball, you have seen Kreindler’s artwork. If you are a Yankee fan, then you already love it. His work is all over the Internet. He has created portraits of icons. Famous moments. He recreates history and presents it in loving detail. And yes, he is named for Graig Nettles.
Kreindler was available one beautiful day to discuss his artwork. What followed was a pleasant afternoon chatting about baseball, thumbing through photographs and books. And of course, admiring his paintings. But how did he get started on the road he is on now?
"My art teacher gave me an assignment to paint a relationship. Something really general. I thought of a batter and a pitcher. I thought of pitching to Mickey Mantle, and that this will be a painting for my Dad."
At this point in his life, Kreindler wasn’t thinking about sports related artwork as a career. Instead, he was focused on science fiction and fantasy. But as he delved into the research for his assignment, things began to change.
"I wanted Mickey Mantle to look like Mickey Mantle. He would have to be in the proper setting, the proper stadium. So I started to research all that, and that was how I fell in love with baseball all over again."
Graig has been painting baseball’s history professionally for the last seven years, with a spotlight on famous Yankees. His research is extensive. He owns a detailed personal library and spends days and weeks tracking down original photographs to reference. It is a pain-staking process, taking up a lot of time, not to mention money for licensing fees. But Kreindler didn’t mind.
"Going through this stuff, going through these old newspapers and reading these books, and learning about baseball, I realized this is my job! That’s amazing!"
Bob Feller’s museum; and painted the cover of the Phil Pepe’s book “Magic Moments Yankees,” with a foreword by none other than Don Larsen. These are just a few examples.
He has also gotten to meet iconic Yankees such as Don Mattingly. His paintings hang in museums, illustrate books, and have been lauded by the MLB FanCave, among many others.
Kreindler is steadily building a significant and loyal following. His portfolio is expansive. His photo-realistic style brings Yankee greats to life in intricate detail. One can almost see them breathe. They seem to be almost moving.
And Kreindler doesn’t limit himself to Classic Yankees. He has many renditions of modern players as well.
And this painting everyone has seen, especially lately, Mariano Rivera.
Although the reverence is clearly evident, the question needed to be asked of him, what is his favorite team?
"Though I love all baseball, I love watching all games, the Yankees are my team. It’s not just me saying that, it’s the truth. I’m a Yankee fan, I was born a Yankee fan. You don’t lose that."
No. You don’t lose that. Pinstripe Pride is not a passing fad. It is an institution. Nothing can change that. The New York Yankees are the best team in baseball history.
And if you ever doubt that, take a moment to enjoy the artwork of Graig Kreindler.
Chad R. MacDonald
BYB Features Writer
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