What kind of person paints a topless Eli Manning?

His name is David Rappoccio, you are familiar with his work, and he apologizes for nothing.

These are quiet days for NFL fans, with the exception of the ceaseless in-depth reportage on every single thing that Johnny Manziel does. There are rumblings from OTA's and the last hiccups of NFL Draft banter. There is Johnny Football's Shocking And Controversial Chipotle Order, and Merrill Hoge's serious concerns about it. But this is, for the most part, football sleepytime. Which is to say that it's David Rappoccio's time to shine.

You are almost certainly familiar with Rappoccio's work, whether you know it or not. He has imagined NFL logos as if they were hipsters, or obese, or fustily monocled Brits, or afflicted with terminal Manningface, at his own site and at Kissing Suzy Kolber. He is also the man who (MS) painted the masterpiece above, which is something like what a shirtless, beachcombing Eli Manning would look like if he were painted by David Hockney. This is a weird thing to do, maybe, but it is also what David Rappoccio does.

Eli Manning at the Beach

Since that image will be haunting my every quiet moment for quite some time, I asked Rappoccio to explain himself. He was kind enough to answer some questions, if also defiant. He will paint a shirtless Eli Manning whenever he damn well pleases. We're all better off for it.

Um, why would you do something like this?

You know that point when you are tired late at night, but not tired enough to want to sleep, just tired enough to put on bad Netflix shows and stare at the Internet. Some people play bad web games. Some people get lost in Reddit. Some people Google unflattering pictures of Eli Manning and say to themselves ..."I want to digitally paint that." Then those same people wake up the next morning and go "Yeah, that is something I'm going to share with the world."

What is it about Eli that made him seem like a worthy topic for this beachcomb/beefcake appreciation? Because as you no doubt know this is kind of an uncommon perspective on the dude.

We spend so much time admiring the beautiful specimens of humanity that are most football players. It's nice to sit back and remember that not all champions eat their Wheaties. Some of them are a little soft and dopey, but are still champions capable of winning it all. It's inspiring to see a man of such plain proportions propped up to the level of Adonis because it makes us feel like we can beat out sissy pretty boys in two different Super Bowls, too.

Are you planning on a series of these? Because I would hang a Bill Belichick painting of a similar style in my home. Maybe not in the living room or whatever, but somewhere. Maybe in a closet, where it would startle guests.

I was thinking about doing [a painting of] Jay Cutler smoking in the immediate future.

Last question: Why did you do this? Why would you do something like this?

Because I can.

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