Baseball vs. Pop Art

Baseball vs. Pop Art

The average professional baseball game takes four and a half hours to play. You might be shocked to learn however that a normal game of four and a half hours is stripped down to 18 minutes of true action.

This means the World Series, which was decided in game seven this year, was really decided during 18 minutes of pop flies, singles, homeruns and everything in-between.

Baseball was invented in America, and is drenched in American tradition. It’s no wonder Americans can get so riled with energy when their team is on top. Baseball means a lot to people in America; which is why some argue fans are willing to watch a full nine-inning game that takes close to five hours, so they can see the 18 minutes of true excitement.

Naturally, reading this blog has no prerequisites. So I don’t expect you to know the history of baseball or of pop art, or Andy Warhol, or even what pop art is, or who Andy Warhol was. I expect though that you’ve at least seen Warhol’s colorful portrait of Marilyn Monroe at some point in your life, one of the most notably recognized representations of pop art. 

In my words, Pop Art is a genre of art that takes culturally popular images and displaces the context by simple duplication or vast contrast to then make a culturally relevant statement.

Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe exemplifies this by taking the exact same photograph, duplicating it, and changing only color. So while the photo isn’t particularly a skilled or unique one, perhaps the exercise of viewing the same picture replicated four times each with different filters, points a finger to some kind of cultural statement which I won’t pretend I can conjure. If nothing else though, it might make the viewer appreciate other mediums of art with more depth.

Some scoff at the merit of pop art. They argue it doesn’t take tremendous skill or dedication to master or learn. While this might hold true when compared to other genres, pop art isn’t trying to be the “Mona Lisa.” It is taking something ordinary, associated with the mundane and making into something keen for the eye to see or the mind to think.

Baseball could be said to be a bit pop artesque at times. It has a touch of seemly mundane repetition like throwing out a man out on first, but only for the purpose to get the team up to bat.

In all sincerity though, Baseball can only be compared with pop art in that for the viewers, watching an entire game involves sitting through a lot of over-and-over. Though, it is in seeing the common replicated that we might come to appreciate the uncommon catch, or spectacular hit, or a pitcher rising to meet the occasion in the seventh game of a world series.


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