By Sean Crose
Some of the world’s most notable creative minds have crafted memorable works related to the sweet science. Ernest Hemingway, Bob Dylan, Joyce Carol Oates, Andy Warhol, Simon and Garfunkel, the list goes on and on. Now another talented individual can join that esteemed list.
For sports artist Dave Horbrecht has been commissioned by Mayweather Promotions to create a large 12 by 4 painting of Mayweather himself. The epic black and white work will be displayed at the MGM Grand in Vegas – which is hosting Mayweather’s superfight with Manny Pacquiao – during fight week.
That’s a big deal for anyone, even someone as esteemed and successful as Hobrecht is. “I’m excited,” the artist admitted during a phone interview. “We (himself and team Mayweather) started talking maybe a year and a half, two years ago.” And now his work will be a very noticeable part of the biggest fight anyone can remember.
Hobrecht, who’s worked with such stars as Willie Mays, John Elway, Oscar De La Hoya, Tony Hawk, and Derek Jeter, is clearly comfortable working with famous athletes. For athletes “kind of have something in their brain already,” he explains. “This piece is a combined effort.”
Yet Hobrecht also makes it clear that team Mayeather was a pleasure to work with. “They gave me free reign,” says the California native. “They were really, really cool about it. It was fun to get them involved.”
Part of what made work on the Mayweather piece so enjoyable for Hobrecht was undoubtedly the unique allure of the fight game. “That moment in action,” Hobrecht says of boxing. “There’s so much action in this centered place…it’s a great sport to paint.”
In fact, the Mayweather painting is no mere assignment for Hobrecht, for the artist is indeed a lifelong fight fan. “I grew up on fights,” he declares. “My dad used to take me to fights.” Working with a unique, charcoal/pastel blend, Hobrecht has attempted to rise to the occasion here, just like the fighters he admires.
Although he has personal favorites from his own body of work, like “The Perfect Day” (which he calls an “attempt at Rockwell”), Hobrecht can’t deny the seriousness of his current challenge. “This is big,” he admits. “I stretched with this one.”
The impressive size of the painting has clearly led the man to up his game. “This one is twelve feet wide,” he says of the Mayweather work. “As a challenge, this one is the all time greatest (from among his work).”
In just a few short days, all eyes will be on Hobrecht’s art (the painting will be unveiled to the world on April 27th). Yet all eyes will be on Hobrecht, as well. Collaboration may have something to do with Hobrecht’s creation (“This piece is a combined effort,” he claims), but ultimately the work is all his.
And the credit will be all his, too.
So, is Hobrecht going to be at the fight come May 2nd? At the moment, that’s uncertain. “(I’m) trying to get in with a credential,” says the artist. One would hope he would at least have a seat or two available for himself and a guest. After all, he’s done his part to contribute to the cause.
Still, Hobrecht intends to enjoy his moment in the spotlight, regardless. “It’s going to be a fun week,” he claims. In an event loaded with egos, it’s refreshing to have someone as humble as Hobrecht on the scene. For rather than gloating, as many in and around the fight game do, Hobrecht actually shows a large degree of gratitude.
“I appreciate Mayweather Promotions letting us be a small part of this,” he says. Undoubtedly those who admire Hobrecht’s unique talent appreciate it, as well.