The Boneyard MatchSchamberger Labs
The Boneyard Match: AJ Styles vs The Undertaker
Ink and acrylic on bristol board
Artwork by Rob Schamberger
Printed on 11" x 14" 130 pound uncoated cover stock, perfect for framing!
When WWE reached out to me about doing a Boneyard Match piece I wanted to challenge both myself and the viewers with it. Like, do I go with a more traditional painting, or lean into the cinematic nature of the match and go with a movie poster? Nah. Been there. Done that. Instead I opted to make this more in the nature of a concert/gig poster, especially as most of those venues traditionally also host wrestling.
That said, Undertaker's pose is purposefully reminiscent of Clint Eastwood on the Unforgiven poster as there are a ton of parallels between the match and that movie. But then I got to have fun with all of the other elements, first with that creeping Spanish moss hanging from the trees and of course the gravestones.
Some of the others are a little more subtle, like the placement of the angel and gargoyle statues in relation to AJ Styles and The Undertaker. The three skeletons are the 'Unholy Trinity' that Taker spoke of, plus as any young kid can tell you: Skeletons are cool.
It's a complicated piece, but I think it reads well and continues to give the viewer more each time they look at it. That's what we want, right?