"The Ghost of Sprewell" - Limited Edition Screen Print by Rontaye Butler

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"The Ghost of Sprewell" - Limited Edition Screen Print by Rontaye Butler

75.00

Project Backboard’s first limited edition fine art print created by Milwaukee-raised/Houston-based artist Rontaye Butler in collaboration with Toil Press in Mexico City.

Four color CMYK hand screen-print on 140gm Bristol paper. Series of 30.

See the process here.

Image size: 14 1/8” x 17 1/8” (35 1/2 cm x 44 1/2 cm)

Artist Statement:

Earlier this year, I connected with a fellow named Dan, who runs a non-profit called Project Backboard that repaints neglected basketball courts in parks all around the country, and I was immediately attracted to his mission statement and work. It was icing on the cake that the very project he was working on the repainting of Tiefenthaler Park, on 25th and Galena in my hometown of Milwaukee. He asked if I was interested in coming up with a piece for the Tiefenthaler reveal. And messed around and mentioned that Latrell Sprewell was his favorite player.
Dan sent me a whole box full of Slam Magazines, and one of them was special to him. A torn issue from September 1999, which was ripped in a scuffle with his best friend. I used the contents of this magazine to create the piece you see before you: The Ghost of Sprewell. This piece commemorates his status as the best player from my city, but also speaks to the reputation that has followed him everywhere he’s gone since his career ended. Yes, he was suspended for choking that coach. And famously, he even turned down a 14 million dollar extension because he had a “family to feed”. 20 plus years and a ton of financial woes later, all we remember about Sprewell is that. Not his career achievements. Or his beloved status in New York as a savior of the Knicks. Or being the original Golden State Warrior everybody loved. Some say he deserved it all, while others say his haunting image is racially-biased. Rather than tell a one-sided story, I wanted to explore all of these themes in this work.

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