Cobb in Memphis in 2006
|Born||Guy Franke Cobb
27 October 1963
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
|Alma mater||University of Mississippi (dropped out in 1983)|
Independent Film Producer
Co-Founder, Bud Light Daredevils
Guy Franke Cobb (born October 27, 1963) is an American artist, inventor and entrepreneur born in St. Louis, Missouri, United States.
Cobb is the third child of Charles and Donna Cobb. Cobb's father, Charles Clifton Cobb, served with the US Navy aboard the USS Marion County (LST-975) during the Korean War. Cobb's father also participated in the deep sea detonation of an atomic bomb during Operation Wigwam. Following his service in the Navy, Cobb's father started a career with Colonial Baking Company in St. Louis as a "bread man" or "route salesman". He eventually became President of the Colonial Bakery in Jackson, Mississippi in 1978 and the St. Louis bakery in 1983.
All three Cobb children competed in trampoline, gymnastics and diving in Junior High, High School, and at the Carondelet YMCA in St. Louis. In the Summer of 1978 Cobb's father became President of Colonial Baking Company in Jackson, Mississippi and the family relocated from St. Louis to Brandon, Mississippi. Cobb attended Jackson Preparatory School from 1979 to 1982.
During the 1983-84 basketball season, Guy Cobb and his brother Ty performed 45 shows throughout the United States. At the end of the season they received a call from Anheuser-Busch to discuss a sponsorship of the Dixie Daredevils to be associated with a new beer called "Budweiser Light". Guy Cobb returned to Ole Miss in the Fall of 1989 to study creative writing under Southern novelist Barry Hannah. From 1984 to 1998 the Bud Light Daredevils performed at universities and NBA games throughout all 50 United States.
Down in The Valley of Rural Violence and the Thorn Paintings 
In the Summer of 1985 Cobb, on break from the Daredevils, relocated with his parents to a farm in Fair Grove, Missouri located approximately ten miles north of Springfield, Missouri in the hills of the Missouri Ozarks. One evening in 1988 he watched a biography on Bravo about the American abstract artist Jackson Pollock. The next day he drove into Springfield, Missouri and bought a 36-inch (910 mm) by 60-inch (1,500 mm) piece of sheet metal. Cobb said he had an idea that he wanted to try to capture the rural violence that was taking place in the Ozarks at that time and previous periods of Ozark history. The James Schnick massacre had taken place just one year before in 1987 in the neighboring community of Elkland, Missouri. Schnick murdered seven of his family and relatives in the worst massacre in Missouri history. Cobb also noted a book he had bought during a visit to the Missouri State Capitol building in Jefferson City, Missouri to see the paintings of Thomas Hart Benton called Young Brothers Massacre. The Young brothers massacre took place in 1932 just outside Springfield, Missouri in the village of Brookline, Missouri and is considered "the worst single killing of U.S. police officers in the 20th century"
Art critics John Simmons and Camille Howell wrote of these paintings: "Down in the Valley of Rural Violence is typical of what Cobb calls his 'thorn paintings.' His use of tortured metal, abstract forms and an overlay of projecting thorns all combine in this and the other paintings in the series to produce statements of anger and frustration. An environment that should be peaceful, pastoral, and filled with the beauty of nature is invaded and degraded by human corruption. These paintings seem to cry out in protest . . . This exhibit is of interest, and more importantly, Guy Cobb is an artist worth watching. He could well become a real force on the regional art scene."
"...incorporating barbed wire, locust tree thorns and arrow tips, and painted on metal sheets that have been blasted with shotgun pellets, Cobb's works are unsettling, disquieting, and impossible to ignore."
In the Spring of 1993 Cobb and his wife Laura Elizabeth Wilson moved from the Missouri Ozarks to Memphis where he began a career in banking. In 1994 Cobb began painting again. His first exhibit was held in the lobby of the Memphis Commercial Appeal's newspaper office on Union Avenue near Sun Studios. Cobb began donating his paintings to local fund raising auctions for organizations such as WKNO Public Television and the Memphis Orpheum Theater. Eventually he began donating what he called "seed collections" of his works to hospitals and mental institutions. The idea behind these seed collections was for the receiving organization to hold onto the collection while they grew in value. By 2002 he had donated more than 60 paintings to not-for-profit organizations and museums throughout the region. In 2003 Cobb and his family were invited to Nashville by then Governor Phil Bredesen to see Cobb's paintings on permanent display at the Tennessee State Capitol building and the Tennessee State Museum.
Innovation and Design 
In the Spring of 2000 Cobb left banking to pursue information technology (IT) skills as an Oracle, DB2, and SQL Server Database Administrator and computer programmer for a dotcom in Memphis. After being laid off Cobb went to work for FedEx in Memphis as a programmer, a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planner and finally as a member of a newly created area called FedEx Innovation where he designed and built solution prototypes such as wireless energy transmitters, seismometers and a mobile "Solar Greenbench" (see Greenbench photo at right).
Braille Paintings 
By 2004 Cobb was experimenting again, this time with "visual color blending" in his paintings. Being badly nearsighted he found that when he removed his glasses to look at one of his iris paintings his eyes would blur the individual colors into blended colors. This led to an idea to create an exhibit of paintings specifically for the sight impaired and eventually the blind.
Cobb was already incorporating thick textures onto the surface of his paintings by squeezing the paints onto the canvas. He researched and found that many art museums have what they refer to as "raised" paintings that are reproductions of masterpieces created for the blind to touch the surfaces and interpret the works with the help of a recording or a guide. By the end of 2005 he had completed a series of "Braille paintings" that were original works of contemporary art meant specifically to be touched and interpreted by the blind. The paintings were not only textured they also incorporated over-sized Braille dots into the paintings. Brother Robert Werle, Curator at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, described Cobb's 2006 exhibit at the University as "the most discussed exhibit we have ever had." Cobb followed up the Christian Brothers University exhibit with a second Braille exhibit at the University of Missouri's Museum of Art & Archeology in 2009.
Memphis Airport Authority & Hurricane Creek Tunnel Controversy 
In 2006 while working for FedEx as a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planner Cobb was inspecting the Hurricane Creek Tunnel beneath the Memphis International Airport when he discovered significant damage to the tunnel directly beneath Runway 9/27. For the next five years Cobb documented his findings and eventually published the results online in 2011. Cobb also filed a | lawsuit in federal court against FedEx and the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority for conspiracy to cover up the tunnel damage. In January 2012 Cobb entered his story in the 2012 Pulitzer Prize Competition. In February the story was accepted and entered in the category for Investigative Journalism.
Museum Collections and Public Spaces 
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (November 2010)|
- University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology, Columbia, Missouri
- Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi
- Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee
- National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, Tennessee
- Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee
- Children's Museum of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee
- Mississippi Children's Museum, Jackson, Mississippi
- Birzeit University Art Museum, Birzeit Palestine
- Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, Tennessee
- Tennessee State Capitol Building, Nashville, Tennessee
- The Renassaince Center, Dickson, Tennessee
- Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, Mississippi
- St. Louis City Hall
- Veterans Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee
- Memphis Mental Health Center
- Western Tennessee Mental Health Center
- Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield
- Mississippi School for the Blind
- Tennessee School for the Blind
- Christian Brothers University
- Archibald, John J., "Boing Boing Boing", (July 29, 1983), St. Louis Post Dispatch
- Fleming, Mike "No Genius, But Cobb Goes Over Their Heads" Associated Press
- Smith, Verenda, "When Flying Ty does his slam dunk" (1980), Clarion-Ledger
- Walton, Andy, "Dunkin' To Please" (Volume 40, No.2, pages 21-24) Ole Miss Alumni Review Magazine
- Goellner, Mary Jo, "Dixie Daredevils Flip Toward Fame" (July 20, 1983), St. Louis South County Journal, page 1.
- Gill, William "Imitating Art: Guy Cobb, Shelby Farms, and the Distillation of Life and Place" storySouth, Summer 2004, Retrieved 2 September 2010
- Futterman, Ellen "Dead Serious" (June 28, 1992) St. Louis Post-Dispatch Magazine
- "Looking back at historic Bud Light sports sponsorships"  (published June 11, 2007 by Anheuser-Busch) page 28
- "Death Penalty Recommended in Missouri Murders"New York Times, Associated Press, Published April 16, 1988, Retrieved September 2, 2010
- Simmons, John, "Artist depicts violence with sheet metal, shotguns" (May 8, 1992), Springfield News Leader
- Howell, Camille, "Nature drawings look dug from the ground" (February 21, 1992), Springfield News Leader
- Morton, Victoria Y., "The Art of Giving" (August 17, 2003), The Commercial Appeal, Section D, page 1.
- "A Gift for Art" (July 4, 2004), The Commercial Appeal, Section CR5.
- "Memphis Artist Donating Original Paintings To Mississippi State Hospital" (July 23, 2003), The Independent Weekly, page 1.
- Watson, Mark, "Communication Eases Developing Online Presence" (March 25, 2001), The Commercial Appeal, Section K, page 4.
- Cobb interview by FedEx Innovations
- Trescott, Abbey University of Missouri Museum of Art & Archeology
- The Maneater.com
- University of Missouri Museum of Art & Archeology
- SEC Sports Journal (February 15, 1980) "Wow!", Page 18.
- Sports Illustrated (December 9, 1985), Contents pages 2 and 3.
- Howell, Camille, "Area Artists Exhibit at SAM", (November 30, 1990), Springfield News Leader.
- Howell, Camille, "Studio E", National Public Radio 1992 interview at College of the Ozarks.
- Boyd, Kent, Profile about Guy Cobb's thorn paintings on OzarkLife, March 1992, KYTV, Springfield, Missouri.
- Bruce, Mary, "St. Louis Spirit" (December 2003), St. Louis Magazine, page 18.
- "Daredevils combine basketball and spectacle" (December 1983) New Jersey Nets Game Program.
- McGaughran, Linda, "Globetrotting Memphis-Style", Memphis Magazine, Crosscurrents, page 23.
- "The OA's first-ever Southern Art & Architecture Issue" (advertisement incorporates Guy Cobb's "Braille America" painting, Oxford American Magazine, Summer 2005, page 81.
- "George Michael's Sports Machine"
- Kanengiser, Andy, "Ole Miss mascot vies for world record" Associated Press.
- Sutton, Ron "Southern Gent Evicted" (January 8, 1981) Knoxville News-Sentinel
- Daily Mississippian (January 19, 1981) Cover Story (follow up to "Southern Gent Evicted" story).
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Guy Cobb|
- Artist's website
- SuperLab TV Show website
- The Weingrad Group artist page
- Art in Bloom exhibition at University of Missouri Museum of Art & Archeology
- 1985 Story about the Bud Light Daredevils
See also 
- Bud Light Daredevils
- Abstract art
- Appropriation (art)
- Neo-conceptual art
- Conceptual art
- Spin art
- Folk art