Putting The Art in MMA

The Coppola Art Exchange showcased Danzig’s photography and George’s drawings at “Reflection,” an event that blended Southern California’s upscale art scene with its passion for mixed martial arts.


“More and more educated people are fighting and more and more educated people are fans,” said Danzig. “It’s just something I think will be normal in a few more years, and this is just one of the beginning steps.”


George, who moved to Los Angeles to attend the Art Institute of California and pursue an art career before becoming a professional fighter, added, “It’s a chance for Mac and I to show the people that, yeah we fight for a living, but we do it because we enjoy it. We love to fight. We’re not doing it because we have nothing else to go on. Art is just another one of our passions.”


Event sponsor and Projekt Label’s Chris Leo suggested the turnout was, “All you can ask for,” as fighting’s stars—former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett and UFC’s British standout Dan Hardy—supported their PKG teammates.


The difference between Danzig’s and George’s pieces? “Chad’s are definitely more violent,” joked Barnett, who helped name one of Georges’s sketches “Stabby McStabface” (although “The Babyface Assassin” contends it should have been Blocky McStabface).


With the gallery split between Danzig and George, both had compliments to offer each other.


“Chad has a really good eye for the work that he does. I like a lot of his stuff. It’s really cool. Its fun,” said Danzig of George’s graffiti inspired work. George pointed to The Ultimate Fighter season six winner’s dedication to his craft and professionalism despite that it’s a hobby. “The hours and the time that he actually puts in his pieces, is incredible,” said George.


So what’s a more difficult profession: artist or mixed martial artist? “They’re both the same—critics punch you in the face in art and in MMA,” quipped George.


The fighters sold several works as the Los Angeles short skirts and big money men poured in and out of the event. Free drinks gradually shifted the show’s feel from formal to fun. Sporting a New Orleans Saints hat and an AC/DC shirt, Dan Hardy dished out cash for two of Danzig’s photos. Hardy plans on hanging them back home in England. In addition, he commissioned George to create a masterpiece, because his training partner’s art reminds him of the stuff he enjoyed at Nottingham Trent University.


Danzig and George considered their debut art show to be a success. It was a culmination of years of their work, and if both can unearth the motivation to produce more pieces of art, another gallery may be in the near future.

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