February 04, 2021
There are few things Flyers mascot Gritty could do at this point that would be truly shocking. He's sculpted an identity that enables him to pull off just about anything, right up to ripping a page from the George Costanza School of Art.
While the Flyers took on the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night — they lost, 4-3, in overtime — Gritty stripped nude and posed for a portrait for 28-year-old artist Benjamin Davis.
Throughout the game, Gritty and the NBC Sports broadcast shared progress updates until the masterpiece was complete.
Paint me like one of your French jawns pic.twitter.com/iYfB1bOHV0— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) February 4, 2021
Art is only as beautiful as its subject pic.twitter.com/KFG8HrYYeU— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) February 4, 2021
What's Gritty's end game with this masterpiece? He says he wants it placed above the Mona Lisa, but are we sure he isn't trying to woo his British female counterpart, Grittney?
Contacted Thursday, Davis said he was commissioned by the Flyers and came up from his home in Virginia to do the painting. A friend of a friend made the connection between Davis and the team.
Davis said it was hard to tell how long it took him to complete the painting because he "kind of spaced out a little bit," but he estimated it was about 90 minutes.
Spaced out, huh?
"His gaze, his body — his essence, really," Davis admitted. "His belly button."
Davis' artwork covers landscapes, stylized portraits, fantasy illustrations and album art, which can be seen on his website. He's hoping that more exposure will enable him to commit full-time to his art.
"The illustration stuff is something that I'm constantly working on outside of my full-time job, and I'm obviously trying to move in that direction," Davis said. "Hopefully, this is one step closer to being able to do my personal art full-time."
Davis said the Gritty painting is now out of his hands, and he's not sure where it will end up.
A spokesperson for the Flyers said the team is still determining what will happen with the portrait, which received plenty of attention on Twitter.
gritty lounging for a nude portrait while hot in herre blasts throughout an empty arena is my quarantine mood. https://t.co/wrm8PDrZrm— bruiser bodhi (@UnlikelyScrolls) February 4, 2021
If Gritty having a nude portrait painted during a Flyers game was just one idea on a brainstorming list, what were the ideas that they decided were too weird?— Sara Copeland (@skcopeland) February 4, 2021
One of the few times I read a trending topic about someone stripping down for a portrait and I'm like.— Eb Defender of Upholstery (@EbThen) February 4, 2021
I cannot click the link fast enough. pic.twitter.com/4RmLHrzP4Y
I'm a Pens fan, but Gritty posing nude for a painting is a power move. Have to respect the bravery. https://t.co/izHDJP7r2e— RichWTOV9 (@RichWTOV9) February 4, 2021
if the flyers auction this painting we could multi-handedly crowdfund and most likely take the NHL out of debt— clarissa! (@quinnsedgework) February 4, 2021