Forever Reinvention
The buyer of Ohio Bell acquires one of the few remaining Sprout paintings among the exceptional company of Sprout’s oversize photorealism. Works like “Osterizer,” “Fifth Street,” “Mixmaster,” “Motel Dairy Bar,” “Car Dashboard,” “Doors of the Victoria,” “Wympee Burger,” and the very early (noir/expressionist) “Telephone Booth,” are shining examples of photorealism that together define this period of Sprout’s painting in the tradition of Richard Estes, America’s undisputed contemporary master of the genre.

Sprout’s preservationist spirit perfectly foreshadowed the shocking impermanence of this particular modern fixture built to last decades: The telephone booth console and handset.

In less than ten years, the ubiquitous pay phone has nearly disappeared from our landscape. Sprout’s painting is a tremendous monument to this very recent, and very distant, past.

The Bell System Logo 1969

The Bell System Logo, 1969

Sprout’s passion to render and record these artifacts of our shared cultural history in their time, for future generations to ponder and contemplate, could not be more in evidence with “Ohio Bell.” Nearly everything about this painting is literally history: The various state-identified Bell Telephone System entities; a permanent, steel-encased box to safeguard the critical activity of phone communication from the random physical eruptions of modern street life; the use of coins in exchange for any service; a modern communications technology that uses only copper wires; and, along with the telephone booth, a giant space allocated for the all-important personal and professional exchanges on a telephone call.

How prescient that already, just over 20 years after “Ohio Bell” was painted, we can look at this painting and wonder at all the labor intensive steps; all the design, construction, and in today’s smartphones, deconstruction, that has brought us to this point in human history.

The radical, lightning-fast transformation from this object to the one in your pocket makes anyone wonder what is coming next; and how we’ve come so far, so fast.

Investment Outlook
In the crowded field of photorealism, few painters stand out to the degree Sprout does in terms of approach, execution, and subject choice. Sprout is among the best in the history of the genre. It is our conservative assessment that Sprout’s “Superchrome” works are listed well below near-future market value.

Ohio Bell presents an excellent prospect for long-term investors as both Sprout’s painting reputation is becoming widespread right now and the notoriety/following of the band Guided by Voices and Tobin Sprout’s solo career continue to gain cultural relevance in a way few bands or fine art painters ever do. Sprout’s long-term cultural relevance and appeal come through in the June 2018 interview with long-time Sprout fine art collector actor Tim Allen.

Additionally, the scarcity of supply of Sprout’s Superchromes makes the purchase of these paintings a rare opportunity in itself. This is literally one of 4 of these paintings remaining on the market. The balance of approximately 50 works have long since made homes in numerous permanent collections.  This is a top rated fine art investment.

For the Collector
Collection of the artist, framed. Transaction and safe passage handled directly by the studio of the artist. To discuss the work or place an order, please call the painter’s studio at (231) 534-4139.

Full documentation including Letter of Provenance provided by Flood Content & Fine Art independently. Claim your beautiful and unique take on US cultural history, along with a signature work from an outstanding series of Tobin Sprout paintings with Ohio Bell.

Ohio Bell, 1995, Tobin Sprout, 44"x34", oil on canvas, $10,500

Ohio Bell, 1995, Tobin Sprout, 44″x34″, oil on canvas, $10,500

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Original analysis by T.R. Brogunier, posted June 19, 2018. 

The Tobin Sprout Blog and Flood Content & Fine Art website are written and produced by Flood Content, a digital marketing agency based in Asheville, North Carolina. Flood makes exceptional fine art accessible to individuals and families who believe original artwork has the unique capacity to transform how we see the world.

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