Rumored Kelce-Swift romance inspires cross-fandom art

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 11:01 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - What once was a Chiefs-themed room of original paintings at Gaels sports bar now has a new painting of Taylor Swift in the mix.

The faces of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and now Taylor Swift all capture them enthusiastically screaming.

It’s been less than a week since pop superstar Taylor Swift was seen with Donna Kelce, Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce, taking in a Chiefs game. Artist Nicholas K. Clark got to work quickly.

He’s working on another right now. It shows Kelce from behind in his #87 jersey, but the name on the jersey is “Swiftie.”

Clark calls himself a Swiftie “in training.” He likes her songs, but he only just started learning the lingo from his nieces.

He began doing Chiefs paintings in 2018. He’s been a Chiefs fan since he was a kid, but his Chiefs works stemmed from something not at all connected to sports.

He was doing a series of paintings based on 19th-century photographs by Edward Curtis. The photographer is well-known for his photos of the American West and Native American people.

Someone contacted him about that series. They wanted one, but in a certain color scheme.

“I did a painting for a client that was doing a Chiefs wall and they wanted a Native American Chief with a head dress because they were Native American,” he explained.

It hadn’t dawned on him that someone interested in sports-themed would want artwork in his style. He described his style as part pop art, part expressionism, with an 80s twist.

He’s painted many series over the years. He has movie characters and TV characters. Four Golden Girls paintings came from a painful breakup, because they lived their best life best buds despite being single.

He did a series of neon signs along Route 66. He does pet portraits. He started painting musicians 30 years ago, but they were his icons. He’s a child of the 80s. At Gaels, an LGBTQ-owned sports bar, he’s hung paintings of Madonna and Cher. They’re in a different room from his Chiefs series, what he calls the “queens” room. People encouraged him to do Taylor before. The romance rumors just turned those nudges into a push.

“Because she has such a fan base and because of the nicknames and lingo, it made it more fun for me to be able to create a series,” Clark said.

Some Gaels regulars are gaga over the latest addition. One woman, wearing a Chiefs jersey Friday, talked about the dating speculation as if she willed a romance to happen.

“I am a huge fan of both of them,” said Swiftie and Chiefs fan Cyndi Clark. “I have been dreaming about this since even before — We’ve been wanting this to happen for a very long time.”

Clark is also excited about the possibilities for a power couple.

“Their outward persona, I think, has really been super awesome,” he said. “I think they could be a good couple. They’d definitely make pretty babies if they just stayed together long enough.”

You can find his artwork on his web site, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.