Mu­ral’s a knock­out

Artist re­calls Nolan Ryan’s 1993 punches with Deep El­lum im­age

The Dallas Morning News - - ARTS & LIFE - By JEREMY HALLOCK Special Con­trib­u­tor STRIK­ING See Page 6E

Sports sta­tions showed the video on loop for weeks: In 1993, Robin Ven­tura of the Chicago White Sox charged the mound and pitcher Nolan Ryan dur­ing a Texas Rangers base­ball game in Ar­ling­ton.

Ven­tura was 20 years younger, but Ryan caught him in a head­lock and punched him six times.

Those punches are in­fa­mous. And they now have a home in Deep El­lum.

On Tues­day, Dal­las-area mu­ral­ist Izk Davies painted a mu­ral of the al­ter­ca­tion on the east side of the bar Wits End, at the cor­ner of Elm and Crow­dus streets in Deep El­lum. It’s a strik­ing im­age — pun very much in­tended. The 10-by-10foot paint­ing is now com­pleted — and ready for self­ies.

DJ Edgar Blue — Davies’ band­mate in the lo­cal im­pro­vi­sa­tional hip-hip group CoLab — ini­tially planned

to use the space on the wall as a cal­en­dar for his old school hip-hop events at Wits End. But Davies says the two started dis­cussing “clas­sic Texas icon im­agery” and Ryan’s al­ter­ca­tion with Ven­tura came up.

“I’ve al­ways loved that im­age and wanted to make it a mu­ral,” says Davies, who al­ready has sev­eral mu­rals in the neigh­bor­hood. “It will be an eye-catcher.”

Davies ac­knowl­edges that Rougned Odor’s al­ter­ca­tion with Jose Bautista last year is fresher in Rangers fans’ minds. But he likes the feel­ing be­hind the Ryan punch.

“Nolan Ryan will punch you in the face if you rush him,” the artist says. “I like the idea of de­fend­ing home and not let­ting out­siders push us around. That’s the feel­ing I get from it.”

Ron Baselice/Staff Pho­tog­ra­pher

Dal­las-area artist Izk Davies adds pro­mo­tional let­ter­ing to his mu­ral of the Nolan Ryan punch scene, now ready for self­ies on the Crow­dus Street side of Wits End in Deep El­lum.

Ron Baselice/Staff Pho­tog­ra­pher

Izk Davies adds de­tail to the top of Robin Ven­tura’s head, caught in Ryan’s head­lock.

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