Stephen Holland Paints John Wayne
Stephen Holland's celebrated career has been defined by his remarkable ability to capture the fundamental essence of iconoclasts like Wayne in a single portrait. Beyond this, what really has defined Holland's unmatched talents, is his ability to present our hero's in the same way we romantically picture them in our collective memories.
Holland knew that this painting in particular would end up being a stand out. As he chose to use the inspiration of one of his favorite John Wayne movies. Little did he know how much this was going to drive his artistic passion, until he dove deeper.
The film turned out to be based on the very real story of a young frontier girl in Texas who was kidnapped by the Comanche Indian tribe. Her uncle (who would be played by John Wayne a century later) along with a posse set out to find her. This search went on for well over two decades. By the time they found her, she was thirty-four, had married the tribes chief and mothered three children. Their son Quanah Parker, later grew up to be the most fierce and last of the Comanche war chiefs. Eventually their legendary leader in peace.
Holland embraced this true and amazing tale behind the movie. He used it as a driving force in this work. He even included an actual portrait of Chief Quanah Parker in the background.
Danny (don't call me Marion) Stern