RIP: Ken Danby

Courtesy of Ken Danby

At The Crease
Ken Danby
1972, egg tempera
28" x 40"


2 responses to RIP: Ken Danby

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  1. Melissa Fleishman says:

    Not until this very moment did I look at a goalie and think fiercely frightening.

    Given the context of the title, RIP in memory of the artist of the print, and the ghost-white goalie mask, I became shockingly aware of the disturbing nature of the goalie. The hunched over, animalistic stature of the goalie looks a lot like a threat of violence to me. Without a doubt, our traditionally Canadian sport is violent-enforcers on the ice, legal hits, and Bertuzzi scandals. We, as viewers of the game of hockey, are well aware of the intent to harm, the goal to win and the anger associated with competitive hockey. But not until now did I realize the symbolic intimidation of the goalie. The ghost-white mask looks eerily similar to masks in horror films such as; Scream, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Friday The 13th. Even the masking method of intimidation seems oddly familiar with masking the identity of the person behind the goalie mask. Does an athlete’s sport equipment give rise to another character? Could hockey players enforce the same violent acts on the ice, out in the public domain without their hockey masks on? The Bertuzzi scandal resulted in serious legal charges for violently hurting with intent, a scary reality we must remember the ice IS the public domain. To me, the goalie mask symbolizes fear, fear that is also associated with horror films, and the idea of inducing fear onto the opponent, or the victim in horror films.

    After further analysis, I realized the game of hockey has been around longer than these modern horror films. Maybe these horror films use the masks to symbolically represent fear because the goalie mask has already so precisely established that intimidation and fear on the ice. This thought of shedding blood, being slammed so hard you are unable to breathe and tearing muscle is recreated in film.

    We, as viewers of horror films, learn to be frightened of the masked image because the goalie mask symbolizes: fear, the threat of violence, of being sought after, found and destroyed.

  2. Zac Martin says:

    As a kid growing up in Canada I loved hockey. For one of my first birthday's I remember receiving this piece of art as a gift from one of my uncles. This picture represents how the game of hockey should be played. The goalie that is portrayed looks fierce. He is into the game, ready for what is coming at him. He is poised and looks sharp as if nothing can get past him. I remember feeling somewhat scared when I was younger whenever I looked at the picture. The goalie looks possessed, and until I got older I did not realize that professional athletes often look as if they are playing possessed. It signifies that the players have a passion for what they do and don't want to let anything get in their way of being the best at the game.
    The painting represents how the game of hockey has progressed over the years such that the goalie still wears the same type of protective gear just in today's game it is more enhanced for better protection. The goal is also almost the same as today's with just a few modifications.
    All in all, I think that this picture is extremely important and significant with regards to the game of hockey. It represents everything that hockey should be; intense, intimidating, fierce etc. It was unfortunate and disheartening to hear of the death of Ken Danby. He was a fantastic artist and "At the Crease" is one of my favourite works of all time.