It was a bright day at Citi Field, Mr. Met on the JumboTron and traffic on all surrounding parkways was bumper-to-bumper.
Then the sky fell dark as artist Charles Fazzone took a paintbrush to the heavens and made it a midnight blue. A group of people gathered around his work station and marveled as Fazzone painted the 3-D portrait of the ballpark.
His goal was to have the portrait, intended to portray a night game, finished in time for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 16.
“They’d like me to finish it by Tuesday so I’m kind of rushing and so forth,” he said on Saturday, July 13. “I started at the studio—the drawing part of it—the painting part of it I’ve been working for quite a few days.”
Fazzone and his art were one of many attractions at the T-Mobile FanFest last weekend as the baseball world gathered in New York for the Mid-Summer Classic. He has done the cover art for every All-Star Game program since 2003, with the exception of the 2006 match-up in Pittsburgh.
Along with Fazzone’s exhibit, FanFest included pieces of history, games and some of baseball’s legends. Mets alumni John Franco, Edgardo Alfonzo and Mookie Wilson served as ambassadors, with team captain and third baseman David Wright as its spokesperson.
Fazzone said his paintings for the game are auctioned off by MLB, will all proceeds going to Stand Up 2 Cancer, which helps fund cancer research. Fazzone said the painting he worked on at Fan Fest could go for anywhere between $18,000 to $35,000.
The New Rochelle-based artist, who considers himself a “New York fan” when it comes to baseball, said he was glad this year’s game was in the city, where he has a large group of collectors.
“It’s very special to me because this is my largest collector base of fans,” he said. “It’s really nice to be to be here in New York because all the FanFests have been in different cities for so long. And I know the city so well and people familiarize my artwork with being New York artwork.”