John Collins ~ Moonlight Graham No. 143, 2020
Moonlight Graham No. 143, 2020
Ink on paper.
Image size: 8 x 6 inches.
Sheet size: 10 x 8 inches
Track 16 is exhibiting 132 of Collins’s Moonlight Graham drawings from 2020, each one a devotional to baseball in a pandemic year where America’s favorite pastime was halted. As a game that many children fantasize about, the dream continues in this series. Pretending his identity was 'Moonlight Graham,' a newspaper comic illustrator, Collins would highlight a play or story of interest every day from within the baseball world. He created these works on a fictional deadline because within this fantasy, his drawing would appear in the next morning’s sports section next to the baseball scores and standings. The name Moonlight Graham reverberates with multiple meanings. It was descriptive of his own creative act of moonlighting--these were created at night after working on his studio paintings or handyman jobs. It is also a pun on social media: Moonlight (nightly) and Graham (Instagram). Lastly, as a nod to baseball fans, the name is recognizable as the name of a baseball player in the early 20th century who became a household name thanks to W. P. Kinsella’s novel, Shoeless Joe, which was later adapted into the film, Field of Dreams. The baseball player received his nickname because he moonlit as a doctor during his playing days, which Collins found a nice parallel to his own project.