Born on a Tuesday of this date in 1972, Jaromír Jágr is, it turns out, not actually ageless: he’s 49 today. That said, he is still playing pro hockey, working the right wing for his hometown team in the Czech Republic,Rytíři Kladno, in the Chance Liga, the second-tier Czech league, a full 31 years after he made his NHL debut for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990. He’s played in 13 games this season, I’ve learned from the Kladno website, collecting a goal and three points. The player’s biography there is worth a browse. “If you are interested in a little about the privacy of Jaromír Jágr,” it tantalizes, “then know that his favourite dish is a Czech classic — chicken fillet with potato salad and banana ice cream as a dessert.” The youthful portrait here is by the artist who goes by the handle Gypsy Oak. Follow him on Twitter @gyspyoak or visit the Gypsy Oak Art Studio, here.
Full Deck: In his ongoing series “Peinture canadienne,” Quebec City artist Marc-Antoine K. Phaneuf has been arranging hockey cards to mirror the patterns and tendencies of Canadian abstract painting from the 1940s and ’50s. The installation pictured here was on show earlier this year at the Art Gallery of Windsor (Ontario) as part of the exhibition Power Play: Hockey in Canadian Contemporary Art. An assortment of some 3000 cards, it pays tribute to the scale and colour and verve of Jean-Paul Riopelle’s work, framing (as visitors to the Windsor show might have read at the show) “the faces of hockey’s past, moments of hyper-masculinity, elaborate styles of facial hair, stereotypical hockey helmet hairstyles, and action-filled facial expressions.” The work, curators proposed, “is both an homage to the history of hockey’s mass production in popular culture as well as a tribute to the speed of the game. Instead of overlapping thick impasto brushstrokes on a canvas, Phaneuf layers hockey cards onto a white wall to resemble the speed and ephemerality of gestural painting.”
(Images: Stephen Smith)