Original Size: 24" by 42", Original Medium: Oils on masonite,
Heinz field opened the doors for the first time on August 25, 2001. This state of art facility replaced the older, tired Three Rivers Stadium. This painting is about the changing of guards from old stadium to new field. The composition is set up to create not just the sense of the stadium but also the city which surrounds it. Pittsburgh is known as the “steel city” and I wanted to install this in the piece.
I began by taking a picture of the old location of Three Rivers Stadium, this picture shows how it was nestled where, this picture shows how it was nestled where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers join to form the Ohio River. From this foggy vantage point, I began to show the building process behind the new field.
I began this procedure by adding steel supports and beams, which framed the picture and create even more depth in the window of landscape. From these steel structures, I then added one of the finished circling catwalks that is a recognizable feature of the field. Then along the right side, I added a section of bleachers in their preliminary stages. This juxtaposition, of the finished and the preliminary, relates to ideas of training and the body’s constant struggle to reach an optimum finished state of existence. While the architecture attached to the beams are very significant to the composition, the steel serves another important purpose.
The other purpose of the comparably small posts are to support the vast turf of the stadium. The tension created here points to the almost impossible nature associated with reaching the playing fields of professional sports. The finishing point of this composition are the speakers. They serve as the conscious which does not allow athletes to say “never.” They are also the voice where athletic drive and dreams start, and then ultimately finish.