How many pieces of graphite does it take to draw a 28-foot long by 8-foot high mural?
To study the detail in Cavalry, American Officers, 1921 on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, I would have guessed the artist had sharpened hundreds—maybe thousands—of pencils in executing his ArtPrize entry.
But Chris LaPorte of Grand Rapids says he spent about 800 hours and 80 pencils to create the life-size mural. (No mention of the number of erasers he made disappear.)
The caricature and portrait artist, who also teaches drawing at Aquinas College, was inspired by a photograph of 53 soldiers that he came across in a local antiques store.
His drawing was one of 1,713 entries in the second annual international ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids last fall. It pulled in the majority of more than 450,000 votes cast by the public, and landed the top prize of $250,000.
That’ll buy a lot of #2 pencils.
NOTE: Cavalry is on loan to GRAM and will be on view at least through the third week of March 2011.
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Visitor Info Clicks: Grand Rapids Art Museum