We received an update today from artist Cliff Lentz who was selected to be one of the 19 artists to participate in the Phillies "Paint the Phanatic" public arts project. Cliff describes himself as "the unofficial NASA correspondent for the 610 WIP sports radio morning show." Being a huge fan of other worldly things, he decided to go with a tribute to the American space program with what he describes as a "whimsical look."
He also notes that lugging one of these statues back to your house for a paint job is no easy task. [more photos below]
need to have this completed by March 22, in time for the opening day
activities. When I went to pickup the statue, I had no idea how big it
was, five foot tall with a one foot, 36 inch wide aluminum base. The
Phanatic has a 46 inch wing span! I soon realized that it would not fit
in my car and had to borrow a pickup truck. It took three people to
load it into the flatbed! When I got home, I found out that it would
not fit through any of my doors so my only option was the tool shed.
This project will be totally conducted outside! The next day we were
hit with a huge snow storm and two days later, a second one. Clearly I
have some obstacles.
Creating this Phanatic astronaut in a toolshed must be similar to what the Russians had to go through to build Sputnik.
The Phanatic as an astronaut reminds me of one of the classic cinematic masterpieces of our time.
Perhaps the greatest news in Cliff's email to me: all of the statues will eventually be auctioned off for charity. So you'll have a chance to take your very on Phanatic statue home to place in your garden. Start saving your nickels now.
A little background on Cliff:
was a painting student of the late Freida Reiter who was known as the
courtroom artist for ABC national news for many years until her death.
She was one of the first artists invited to Russia in the sixties and
covered many important events in the country's history including
Watergate and being the only reporter allowed to attend the Tricia
Nixon wedding at the White House. Mentoring me for years, she assisted
me in getting accepted to the Philadelphia College of Art (now the
University of the Arts) where I graduated in 1975. During my time in
college I worked many freelance projects for different companies
including a project for the Philadelphia Flyers as well as exhibiting
and selling work at different area shows.