Acrylic, spray and collage on 24″ x 24″ wood
Whether he’s teaming with Jimmy Valiant, managing the Dream Team, or working as a bodyguard for Junior Soprano, Johnny Valiant is always entertaining. Born John Sullivan in Pittsburgh, PA, being brought into wrestling by Bruno Sammartino. Learning the ropes in the territory era in the 1960’s, he began competing for the WWWF as a mid-carder. He soon partnered up with his storyline brother Jimmy Valiant in the World Wrestling Association as the Valiant Brothers, where they defeated Sammartino and Dick the Bruiser for the WWA tag team titles.
In the early 1980’s he retired from full-time competition and began a new career as a manager. His biggest success with this was leading the ‘Dream Team’ Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake to the WWWF Tag Team title in 1985. Dino Bravo was soon added to the stable, and they turned on Beefcake, leading to Brutus cutting Valiant’s hair. He also managed Wayne Bloom and Mike Enos in their victory for the AWA tag team title in 1989.
Since retiring from the business, Valiant has reinvented himself as an actor and comedian, appearing on multiple episodes of The Sopranos and Law & Order, in addition to a well-received solo show.
About the piece: This was surprisingly my first collage piece for the Champions Collection. I say ‘surprisingly’ because I like working that way. I painted the figure with blue acrylics, then pasted some paper over it and spray-painted the paper with bright colors. I then tore the paper away in the places where it wasn’t pasted down, revealing the painting below and framing it with the different colors and texture.