Continental Chicago

now in its one-hundred-and-eightieth year

Abstraction at Comiskey

People at Comiskey Park, June 2012 (Credit: Susan Barsy)

Sometimes the very so-so quality of a photo makes it interesting.  That’s the case with this blurry photo I took at Comiskey.

I like it for so many reasons.  For capturing one of the ways we spend our summer.  For showing modern people in the ancient act of looking.  For representing mass society.  For documenting what a stadium crowd looks like today.  For capturing the quiet, laid-back quality of baseball watching, the peaceful side of a ball-park on a beautiful day.

Then I like it because it’s painterly.  I like the little dots of color.  The shirts, the faces, the empty seats.  I think of Seurat’s pointillism, of color fields, the smudginess of Milton Avery.  The color mix makes me think of Hockney—his cheery palette, the faces fleshy and flat the way that his are.

I like to squint at this picture and imagine all the conversations, relationships, feelings and stories, crammed into this one, still, square specimen of society.

4 comments on “Abstraction at Comiskey

  1. Sam Dune
    August 24, 2012

    Yes, I think that baseball is the best of the four major sports. All spring and summer it lumbers along, oblivious to the clock as the game is played. It is sport at its best—and, yes, the stadiums are a nice place to have conversations, and to engage in the ancient art of watching.

    • Susan Barsy
      August 26, 2012

      I’m a late convert to baseball, and even now describing me as a “post-season fan” would be pretty accurate. I’ve been known to root for both our home-teams (I know it’s a no-no), though I have to confess I like the Sox more. But is going to the Cell better than going to Wrigley Field? Each is distinctive and wonderful (except if Yankees fans are there to see their team play).

      Even though I have only been to six or seven ball games in my life, I was lucky enough to witness a no-hitter when the pitcher of the visiting team managed it against the Brewers when I was in high school. I was too young then to appreciate what I was seeing. Isn’t that just the way of youth?

  2. Joe
    August 20, 2012

    You mean U.S. Cellular Field? The beauty of baseball is it is a timeless game……no clocks. It is well suited to developing friendships and conversation. I read a quote once that said: “In 1,000 years there are three great things that will be remembered about American civilization. The U.S. Constitutution, baseball, and jazz music…..” Well 2/3 ain’t bad……jazz? I doubt it……

    • Susan Barsy
      August 20, 2012

      I doubt it too, if only because it leaves fewer traces.

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This entry was posted on August 19, 2012 by in Around town and tagged , , , , , , .

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