Unframed painting on wood panel. Painting unframed by artist's instruction.
Table, pitcher and chair: Vermeer, The Music Lesson, c. 1662-64. The Royal Collection, H. M. Queen Elizabeth II, London.
Map: Vermeer, Officer and a Laughing Girl, c. 1658-60. The Frick Collection, New York.
Bobby Abreu, New York Yankees Rightfielder 2006-2008, Team Number 53.
The map in George Deem's “Yankee Vermeer” is most like the map of the Netherlands in "Officer and Laughing Girl" in the Frick Collection. It is not a straightforward quote, however, rather a borrowing with changes. George changed the coat of arms in the lower right corner into another ovoid shape. Moreover, George vertically creased Vermeer's very straight, crisp, and "new" map in "Officer and Laughing Girl" in the manner of the map in "The Art of Painting/ Artist in his Studio." Thus it looks more like a historic map, quite apart from what he makes the baseball player do to it. Then, of course, there are all kinds of painterly changes (color, brushstrokes) that make it at first difficult to identify the map. All this seems a pun on the notion of "making history." Which we are told athletes do all the time, not only at the Olympics. Which goes along with the witty Vermeer-pearl appearance of the studs/balls and their multiplicity and yet the player's need to feel the map or possibly look behind it. (Which would not occur to the model for Clio in "The Art of Painting"). All this is so George! (Christiane Hertel, email to Ronald Vance, August 26, 2012).
Pavel Zoubok Gallery Exhibition "George Deem: We Were There (RECENT WORK)" January 8 -February 7, 2009. The Exhibition announcement card image was a reproduction ofYankee Vermeer.