There's a reason art is one of the most enduring forms of human expression--people like having cool stuff to put on the wall, whether that's in a prehistoric cave, a palace, or a house. I studied art history for years and traveled overseas to see it, and believe me, if there's one thing the old masters loved, it was representing where they were from.
Bryan Dunkel may have some way to go before he becomes the next van Gogh, but his artwork represents Maryland on a huge scale. And yes, it's for sale. Get those wallets ready, guys.
In his work life, Bryan's the director of Under Armour national tryouts for the Baseball Factory. On Etsy, he's MrXOXOVinatge--a nod to his wife's wedding and event rental business, XOXO Vintage. He makes large wooden pieces featuring Maryland flags and sports, pieces that can take as many as eight hours to complete. You gotta love what you do to put that kind of work into your hobby, and Bryan's a Maryland fanatic.
"I am a die-hard Ravens and Orioles fan," he said in an email interview. "My love for the Orioles started in infancy as my parents would take me to Orioles games in car seat. My love for the Ravens started when I went to the first-ever Ravens game with my Dad at Memorial Stadium in 1996."
Of course, if sports aren't your thing, you can still Maryland-ize your home with one of Bryan's flag pieces. Seriously, where would you not want a Maryland flag? Make it an accent above your bed. Hang it above the mantel. That's some Pinterest-level accessorizing right there.
But maybe your Maryland-house Pinterest board calls for something a little more unique. Maybe all your friends bought out Bryan's stock and you want to be one who's a little different. Luckily for you, Bryan does custom work.
"Lately, I have been asked to do a lot of custom Maryland-themed work," he said. "Whether it is for a local business, a customer, or a friend, I am up for the challenge. The most recent custom piece I have been working on is a Maryland Flag anchor, which I know is going to turn out awesome."
So you want your Greek letters? A big crab? Take your business to Bryan and let your imagination run wild. Bryan says he plans to continue creating original Maryland pieces for individuals and businesses.
It's work worth doing for a state that's as one-of-a-kind as Bryan's artwork.
"Maryland is special to me for a variety of reasons," he said. "First and foremost, I think everyone from Maryland has a bit of a chip on their shoulders. We are not considered part of the “South”, yet we are too far south to be considered “North”...You have the city life in Baltimore, the history of Annapolis, the beaches on the Eastern Shore and the mountains in Western Maryland. Anything you could ever want is in our great state!"
Bryan, that's just the attitude we like at Route One. Wallets out yet, readers? Get to that Etsy shop and start buying.
Exclusive to Route One Apparel customers: Take 10% off any of Bryan's products with the code ROUTE1
This post was written by Route One Apparel blogger, Eva Niessner.