The portrait was commissioned by GGG's management not just mark the moment but to be used in the promotion of the fighter leading up to and at the scheduled event at London’s O2 Arena.
Receiving a Stephen Holland painting as a retirement gift is without a doubt a very special gesture. But it is not an unusual one. This too, in recent years has taken shape as it’s own tradition in baseball (and other sports as well).
"I was not led to retreat to Tahiti, in 2000, and begin a second home / studio, to leave my way of seeing, but to test it. Although, because it was the same year that Sparky (Charles M. Schulz) died, I would be intellectually dishonest to not admit to it somewhat."
my most special opening night was the one that opened my eyes and mind to a new way of seeing line standing alone as more of a painting. I'm of course referring to the late dark night in my studio, shortly before meeting my friend, Sparky, (Charles M Schulz),
It’s as if James Brown was screaming his lyrics “I Got Ants In My Pants and I Need To Dance”, soon after day one of my inspirational 20 year relationship with my friend Charles M. Schulz. Although in my mind, instead of “I Need To Dance”, I was hearing, “I need to make new art”.
Shortly after our introduction, we sat in his studio drawing lines in sets of three identical lines. He was demonstrating that no lines, in each set of three looked the same. That the eye sees and thinks about each line in a new way. This concept of seeing the same thing in a new way became the foundation for the twenty-six years of my visual articulation ultimately influenced by the strategies of process in his linework.
Throughout the 25 years of visual Schulz-like subject matter, the soul of the work has had to grow through always seeing the making of painting in a new way in order to remain alive. Like the 70s funk music that this work was created with and named after, "I got soul and I'm SuperBad"
This year the devoted fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers will spend the whole season with the art of Stephen Holland literally in their hands. As Holland has been selected to be the cover artists for both the Dodgers’ 2015 Yearbook and Media Guide.