Artist paints new ‘Bama picture while suit pending

Published 5:24 pm Thursday, March 19, 2009

TUSCALOOSA — Daniel Moore, the football artist in a legal battle with the University of Alabama over trademark law, is taking orders for a new painting — “The Blowout,” depicting the Tide’s 36-0 rout of Auburn last November.

Moore said he has received about 1,900 orders for the painting since announcing it earlier this week. It shows running back Glen Coffee leaping through a gaping hole opened by crushing blocks by Andre Smith and Antoine Caldwell as the Tide ended a streak of six straight Iron Bowl losses.

“After six years, there was a lot of pent-up frustration and certainly, as an Alabama fan myself, I was glad we got that monkey off our back,” he said Wednesday.

He said limited-edition, signed prints will sell for $140 if ordered by April 30 and $175 after that.

Moore, whose depictions of celebrated moments in Alabama football history have become collectors’ items, was sued four years ago by the university, which claimed trademark law violations and sought payment of licensing fees.

Moore and his publishing company, New Art Life Inc., filed a countersuit, accusing the university of damaging his business. His attorneys contend his work captures historic events and is speech protected by the Constitution.

The case has not gone to trial. Arguments on legal issues are scheduled May 18 before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

University spokeswoman Debbie Lane did not immediately return a phone message Thursday seeking comment.

Moore said he expects “The Blowout” to be as popular as his painting from the 2008 game against Georgia, “Blackout,” which sold more than 4,000 prints. His painting after the Tide’s 1992 national championship, “The Tradition Continues,” sold 19,920 prints, he said.