As a young artist, Russ Opdahl always had a pencil in hand, doodling whenever he could. With a love of sports, the images he found in sports books and magazines became subjects of his early sketches. His favorites were always the greatest in sports -- Ali, Ruth, Mantle, Dimaggio, and dozens of others. Over the years, Opdahl’s pencil retraced sports history, yielding lifelike sketches of his childhood heroes. As his favor shifted to the paint brush, Opdahl started creating larger than life paintings of sports stars and celebrities.
Known for his mix of expressionist and pop art, Opdahl was given the nickname "The Andy Warhol of Sports Art" by fellow artists who shared gallery space with him earlier in his career. "His work is so vibrant and lifelike that it appeals to nearly everyone who sees it", says William Ward, owner of the Alexandria Art Gallery in Tampa, Florida. "His artwork touches a very broad base. Even if you're not an art fan, his paintings definitely attract your eye. They have a unique style to them", he adds.
Over the last decade, Opdahl has produced more than 300 paintings for collectors and charities worldwide. His artwork has been featured on the cover of Tiger Woods' biography DVD and his paintings can be seen publicly at a variety of sports-related venues including the Roberto Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh-PA and the Mickey Mantle memorial exhibit in Houston-TX.
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