Graig Kreindler is one of the best-known and most widely-respected names in sports art. Raised in Rockland County, NY, Kreindler is a graduate of New York City's School of Visual Arts with a BFA in illustration and a Masters in Art Education from Lehman College in the Bronx. His work has been featured in juried art shows and museums nationwide, with pieces displayed at numerous public art spaces and featured in nationally-distributed books, newspapers, magazines and television. His artwork has been featured on Topps baseball cards, and is currently on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. Most recently, more than 200 of Kreindler's works were commissioned and displayed as part of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum's "Black Baseball in Living Color" art exhibit. Kreindler's work has drawn raves, none more glowing than that of Chuck D of Public Enemy, who recently tweeted "Graig Kreindler is a time machine. He places you in a 1950s ballpark where color is impossible. He puts you right there with the Cracker Jack and beer."
Graig's work has, for many years, drawn admiration from inside the hobby and out. With nearly 120,000 followers on social media, his daily posts produce raves from fans, hobbyists, connoisseurs of art, and celebrities alike. His painting "Proud as a Peacock," depicting Roberto Clemente, sold for an astonishing $59,000 in our Spring, 2022 auction - the highest price paid for a Kreindler work yet. Demand continues to surge.
Presented here is another astonishing - and well-known - example of Graig's work. Titled "Hard Luck for Hardy," the painting pictures Angels superstar and future Hall of Famer Mike Trout, scaling the centerfield wall at Camden Yards on June 27, 2012 to rob Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy of a sure home run in the first inning of what would become a 13-1 Angels rout. The catch became the stuff of legend, a staple in highlight reels that has been written about for ten years.
The painting, commissioned by a private buyer, has also become the stuff of legend. For an artist who specializes in bringing vintage baseball back to life, Kreindler's document of the play is one of his best-known works, and it is not without controversy: social media posts featuring the piece have occasionally devolved into online arguments between Kreindler's fans and antagonists who simply refuse to believe that this is a painting.
As the auction house that has sold more of his work than any other, we can verify: it is, indeed, a painting. The 22" x 28" oil on linen work has been elegantly framed to a finished size of 23" x 29", yet another masterwork of light and color that depicts the subject near the center of the canvas, alone, well-lit by the sun and under the intense pressure to perform for thousands of spectators. Once again, the artist does not disappoint, powerfully capturing the heroics and tension of a single moment of superhuman athletic performance.
Perhaps the best illustrator of Kreindler's popularity is not the considerable publicity or adulation he receives, but the very small number of his works that have made their way into the hobby via resale. The majority of Kreindler's work is commissioned privately by his clients, and once the work is finished, the owner generally keeps it. Since Kreindler does not make prints of his work available for sale, the only way to own one is to own an original piece. Recently, citing a waiting list approaching nine years, Kreindler announced a temporary moratorium on commissioned work, meaning he will no longer be accepting any private commissions for the time being. This means that any collector hoping to own a creation of Kreindler's essentially has once chance: win one of his works at auction. Here is your opportunity.