When artist Rachel Glaser was 14, she became fascinated with the NBA, especially Dennis Rodman. “I was dying my hair during that time,” she says. “So I’d draw pictures of Rodman in pencil and then color in his hair with colored pencil.”
Years later, that fascination would coalesce into a strange and wonderful collection–portraits of NBA players from Muggsy Bogues to Carmelo Anthony, created in MS (and real) Paint.
She was well into adulthood when a friend asked Glaser to paint a portrait of Charles Barkley. After this, commissions began to roll in, often from poets and writers who shared an affinity for basketball. Glaser’s favorite teams are the Bulls, the Grizzlies, and the Thunder. When she has to paint a player she doesn’t like, Glaser ends up feeling something of a psychological connection with them. “All my friends are Celtic fans but I’m not so huge on the Celtics. But after painting Rondo, Allen, and Paul Pierce, I do feel closer to them,” she says.
This Saturday, in honor of the NBA playoffs, Glaser will be showing much of her collection, Triple Overtime, at Primetime art space in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. See and read more about the portraits in the slide show above.