30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Move Over Monet

La Japonaise (1876)

I'm not an expert on art, but I've been familiar with Claude Monet's art since I was a little kidThe Houses of Parliament series stands out... as well as his Haystacks and Water Lilies series.  But after look up a bunch of his paintings for this post, I decided to lure all of you in with La Japonaise.  I had never seen it before, but it's an oil on canvas painting of his wife wearing a kimono surrounded by Japanese fans.  He painted it in 1876, but it has since crossed the Atlantic and is now at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Another French artist is Ermsy.  Actually, he was born in England... but he's based out of Paris... so I'm guessing that makes him more of an English artist who works in ParisOh well.  Too late.  I already invested too much time and energy in this post and I don't know any famous English painters off the top of my head... so I'm moving forward with my comparison to Monet.

Okay.  I just realized how stupid that sounds.  Monet is one of the most renowned painters of all-time... while Ermsy is one of the Topps Project 2020 artists.  There is no comparison.

And from what I've read and seen on blogs people are pretty divided on Ermsy's artwork.  It seems like people either enjoy it... or don't.  Considering I purchased two of his cards on the Topps website within a span of six days back in July... it's pretty obvious where I stand.

I've been a fan of his work from the very beginning.  It reminds me of Topps Kids from the early 90's... along with street graffiti from the 80's.  I just couldn't get myself to pull $20 out of my pocket for a rookie card redux of Mike Trout.

But when Topps released the Tony Gwynn, I decided to join the club and purchase my first Project 2020 cardA few days later, I picked up the Rickey as well.  It took a little under two months, but they arrived last week:

2020 Topps Project 2020 #161
2020 Topps Project 2020 #168

I'm not exactly sure why he chopped off Gwynn's head, but the Rickey is about as Ermsy as you can get.  Like I said... you probably like his style or you don't.

Here's are side by side comparisons to the actual rookie cards:

1983 Topps #482

1980 Topps #482

And for those who enjoy back scans, Merry Christmas...

I'll wrap things up with another piece of art...

One of my former students created this and was nice enough to share it with me.  It was her interpretation of this famous woodblock print:

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai is one of the most recognizable pieces of Japanese art and has been a personal favorite of mine for as long as I can remember.

What about you?

What are some of your favorite pieces of art?

Well that's it for today.  Happy Thursday and sayonara!


  1. Ermsy is one of my favorite 2020 artists. I used to collect comic art and some of my favorite pieces were the first kiss between Gambit and Rogue from the X-Men. I also have the image of Roberto Clemente's 3,000th hit from the graphic novel called Clemente

  2. Can anyone explain why Tony has number 51 on his back on his rookie card?

  3. The Menaced Assassin - Rene Magritte
    Still Life and Street - M.C. Escher
    Guernica - Pablo Picasso
    The Old Guitarist - Picasso
    Nighthawks - Edward Hopper
    The Scream - Edvard Munch
    Portrait of an Artist - David Hockney
    A Bigger Splash - Hockney
    Potsdamer Platz - Ernst Kirchner

  4. I like Ermsy's 1980 style Henderson quite a bit, which is a departure from many of his other Project 2020 cards in which he has an obsession with obliterating the players' faces. Not a fan of those.

    No favorite pieces of art. I just know what I like.

  5. I picked up the koufax by ermsy on a whim. It's different that's for sure.
    I'm a big fan of abstract expressionism particularly Mark Rothko. I also have prints by Ellsworth Kelly, Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Renoir in the house.

  6. The Starry Night, The Starry Sky and A Cafe Terrace - all by Van Gogh. It's the "blues" in these paintings that draw me in. I would not have recognized "La Japonaise" as Monet. I like it.

  7. I can't say I'm a huge art fanatic but I do really like Magritte's work. And although Kurt Vonnegut is way better known as an author I love his artwork as well.

  8. I like some of the sports artists out there, like Graig Kreindler, Dave Choate, and Tim Carroll.

  9. I am not an art person. So dont have a favorite piece

  10. I'll have to 2nd the notion that I like what I like and there is not 1 piece that could be a favorite.

  11. The Hokusai print has to be one of the top 5-10 most recognizable paintings in the world. You’ll love the new BBM sumo wrestling signature cards. They have a great image of a Hokusai-like wave and Mt. Fuji in the background.

  12. Tough to choose one favorite piece of art, but artists I enjoy include Rembrandt, J.M.W. Turner, and Andrew Wyeth. I'm also a big fan of vintage travel posters from artists like Roger Broders. Oh, and concept artists like Syd Mead. Good question, Fuji. Nice pickups for your collection, too!

  13. Your former student's got some real talent there, hopefully they'll keep at it. I'm not a big fan of the Ermsy, I'm also getting a little tired of these newer artists whose names have to end with sy. I like tons of traditional art, way too much to name here, but I will say that one of my favorite kinds of art, though they're not always thought of as art, are movie posters/lobby cards. I've got more than I can display, but have a very difficult time walking away from something that catches my eye, especially if it's cheap.

  14. Interesting and cool piece by $arah - I like it. I don't have a favorite artist, but for baseball I like the work by former ball player Gene Locklear. CK him out when you get a chance. Peace!

  15. I’ve always like the great wave and can’t explain why, but that’s why I think art is art.

  16. Warhol, Basquiat, Picasso, Van Gogh & David Choe (Based in L.A.) are my Favorite Artists 🎨 So difficult to select a Favorite piece. Project 2020 has rubbed me the the Wrong Way from the get-go though I'm able to enjoy much of the Art produced by these exciting young Up & Comers.

  17. I know a lot of people enjoy the card art that has been popular in 2020. It just didn't hit home for me though. It's not bad, just not my cup of tea.

    I'm definitely not an art connoisseur to be sure, so I don't have any art that I would consider a favorite.

  18. I love the Henderson Ermsy card. That is a favorite of mine, but I have not posted it yet.

    Favorite art away from baseball cards is tough. I am a big fan of art museums, what I like from time to time varies on my mood. I feel the same way about music. If I had to give a short list of favorites I would go with Thomas Hart Benton, Claude Monet, Pieter Bruegel (The Elder), Vermeer for paintings hundreds of different people and objects all in the same room of his house, Van Gogh, and Kehinde Wiley. Wiley is probably a more recent like within the past decade. I know he is popular at the moment because of the Obama portrait, but he has a couple of pieces at the Duke Art Museum that I have long enjoyed.


  19. collecting cutch - both of those pieces of original art sound awesome. i remember watching comic book men and they went to an auction with comic book art. i've been intrigued ever since

    jongudmund - not sure. i'm guessing it was spring training.

    elliptical man - i've only heard of a handul of those pieces, but for as long as i can remember, i've enjoyed the scream

    night owl - yeah... he did a great job on the rickey. it's a shame that he chopped off gwynn's head though.

    gcrl - looked up mark rothko's art. i'm sure there's some deep meaning behind his paintings, but as a non-expert... i just see colored boxes

    acrackedbat - van gogh is by far my favorite painter of all-time. love his work

    nick - didn't recognize magritte's name, but immediately recognized his art. as for vonnegut, i recognized his name, but didn't recognize his books except slaughterhouse five. read that back in high school

    the lost collector - kreindler's paintings are gorgeous. i also enjoy carroll's baseball cards

    sport card collectors - i'm not exactly an art expert, but i do appreciate it

    johnnys trading spot - i respect that

    sumomenkoman - i would agree. i feel like that and starry night are two of my personal favorites and they're both very recognizable. i'll have to look up those sumo autographs. did you pull any of them this year?

    gregory - broders' travel posters are fantastic!

    jon - i hope she follows that dream too. i'm glad that we've stayed in touch. i have several of her original pieces that i use as examples with my students to this day. plus she did a very cool chalk art piece for me in my office (at work) of yoda.

    cincicuse bill - just looked him up. locklear's art is fantastic! thank you for bringing him up.

    steve at 1975baseballcards.com - yeah, it's a great piece. i think i liked it from the first time i saw it, bc it shows off mt. fuji in the background

    xavier higgins - wow. choe's street murals are gorgeous. thank you for pointing him out.

    robert - i love the card art. i'm just not a fan of charging that much for individual cards, but as long as most of the money is going into the artist's pocket, i'm can live with it.

    the snorting bull - wiley's portait of obama is awesome. kinda want to find a print of that and hang it up in my classroom.

  20. My favorite piece of art is the Cookie Monster version of Hokusai's wave that you posted. Its titled "Sea is for cookie" (google to see its brilliance).

    1. That's awesome! I notice that you can buy a shirt with that print on it. Might need to pick that one up.

  21. How Could I Forget Salvador Dali? The Persistence of Memory!?!?
    I insist on sending you a care package if you'll except such an offering?
    Your blog post have contributed to my mental well-being during these complex and confusing times, stimulating my mind at times to the point of percolatiion.

    1. xavier higgins - the persistence of memory is indeed a work of art. as for a care package, i'd never turn down one of those. you can email me at sanjosefuji (at) yahoo.

  22. There's a particular Cezanne that I saw at the Met in New York. The Artist's Uncle, as a Monk. The textures are so unusual and it really stood out even among all the amazing art there.

    1. Nice pick. Love the texture on that painting.