Art exhibit exploring pro wrestling open until March 3

Oil painting by artist Robert McCann depicting professional wrestlers battling in a mall

A new exhibit that opened Jan. 14 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a nod to professional wrestlers.  

“Jobbers, Heels, and Faces” by Robert McCann will be on display in Gallery I of the Fine Arts Building until March 3. It features monumental paintings with popular pro-wrestlers from the past and the present as the central motif.

Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

McCann will present a guest lecture at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, in Room 161 of the Fine Arts Building.

In his lecture, McCann will address the subject of his art, professional wrestlers, and their characterization.

Professional wrestlers battle in Robert McCann's "Hands Across America" oil on linen (2014)
“Hands Across America” oil on linen (2014)

McCann’s work stages wrestlers in out-of-context or discontinuous relationships, intimately handling such ideas as identity or stereotype while visually engaging with less nameable pursuits like the relation of bodies in space in a simultaneous moment.

According to McCann, performers portray characters that are frequently based on their actual personalities, self-image, or heritage. What is acknowledged to be artificial is acted out with real physical and psychological consequences, always under a certain pall of inevitability.

McCann lives and works in East Lansing, Mich., where he is an associate professor and head of the Foundations Area in the art department of Michigan State University.

Recent venues of exhibition include the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the University of Kansas Art and Design Gallery, the Ormond Memorial Art Museum in Ormond Beach, Florida, and the Soo Visual Art Center in Minneapolis.

UALR Galleries are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays. All exhibitions and lectures are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Brad Cushman, gallery director, at or 501.569.8977.


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