Art fans, this is truly a magnanimous moment in the history of modern civilization. Not since Gutenberg first threw down the word of the Big Man upstairs has the printed letter held quite such esteem.
Walton—two-time NBA champion, college basketball legend, father of the
eighth-best forward on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster and first-ballot
inductee to the Hyperbolic Sports Announcer Hall of Fame—have been asked
by this esteemed publication, in the very city for which I brought home
my first professional championship, to critique the work of another
towering Bill Walton. The late minimalist, sculptor and proud son of
Camden, N.J., Bill Walton’s work is currently exhibiting at the storied
Adams and Ollman Gallery. Folks, I suggest you cut out this article and
frame it, for this is the single most important page of newsprint not
just in the history of Willamette Week, or Oregon, or even America. It is, in fact, the most important piece of literature ever produced on this, or any, planet.
–BILL WALTON with help from MATTHEW SINGER. Images courtesy of the Estate of Bill Walton & Adams & Ollman.
Red Floor/White FloorQuite simply, this is the most awe-inspiring stack of floor tiles I have ever had the privilege of laying my UCLA-educated eyes upon. It reminds me of the estimable Greg Ostertag in his prime: tall, bold and completely immobile.
The sheer majesty with which Walton presents this dingy folded cloth is utterly astounding—breathtaking, even. It brings to mind something my UCLA Bruins coach, the immortal Wizard of Westwood, John Wooden, once told me: “Walton, pick your disgusting sweat rag off the floor and hang it on the rack like a proper human being! And cut that filthy hair, you goddamned dirty hippie!” A poet worthy of Keats, that man was.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have gazed upon the works of the great Renaissance painters at the Musée du Louvre. I have watched Larry Legend practice his jumper in an empty gymnasium. I have witnessed Jerry Garcia play a 75-minute guitar solo at the Fillmore. All fail to match the grace, power and overwhelming beauty of these old paint brushes hanging on a hook. Bill Walton truly knows the essence of being and what it means to be alive—and also how best to keep one’s art supplies organized and easily accessible.
GO: Bill Walton is at Adams and Ollman, 811 E Burnside St., through April 27. 11 am-5 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays, and by appointment.