Here is this weeks new oil painting: “VINTAGE”, of Jacques Plante’s first mask… the first mask ever worn during an official NHL hockey game. Some may be turned off by the blood, but it is no addition – rather, I looked at stock photo’s to put him back into the mask on the first day it was worn… which was highly documented. Jacques Plante had been wearing this mask during practices, but after taking a 45-minute break to fix up his face due to being hit by a puck – he gave his coach an ultimatum to allow him to wear his practice mask during a game.
Prior to this, it was frowned upon. Goalies were supposed to be fearless to stand in front of pucks in the net… but once it was determined that he could win more games by wearing the mask other goalies soon followed and it became the norm.
The mask has deteriorated in time, and I chose to paint it with representations of how it looked on the day he first wore it in a game. It already had some wear and tear from practices it seems – and was bloodied already from his prior-to-wearing injury. Gauze was wrapped around the chin, which already had some tape/wrap tied around the area which I assume was to help ease pressure on his chin. But in all photographs you can see how his bloodied nose had dripped down his chin, pooling here and dripping onto his jersey.
I think it’s important to have the blood. It reinforces the purpose of the masks.