JOSEPH W. KITTINGER, JR.
A True American Hero.
Acrylic on canvas fabric mounted on
hard panel, 88 x 45". 2003 -2010
Portrayed in the pressurized jumpsuit
that he wore in the New Mexico desert
as an Air Force Captain on August 16,
1960 when Joe set 3 world records: (1)
The highest parachute jump of 102,800
feet; (2) the longest parachute free fall
of 4 minutes and 36 seconds;
as he became, (3) the only person to
exceed the speed of sound without an
aircraft or space vehicle going 614 mph
during free fall. After retiring as a
highly decorated Air Force flyer, who
received the Distinguished Flying Cross
on three occasions for his combat tours
in Southeast Asia, Joe also set a world
record in 1984, piloting the first solo
transatlantic balloon flight to the longest
distance ever flown, winning two more
Distinguished Flying Crosses. Joe
Kittinger a true American hero.
In a December 1960 National
Geographic article Joe said, "Some
people may wonder how I could enjoy
any degree of equanamity in view of
the job ahead, and I think the answer
lies in a four-point philosophy that I
I must have confidence in my team.
I must have confidence in my equipment.
I must have confidence in myself.
I must have confidence in God.
Secure on those four points, a man can
face almost anything."
This full length lifesize portrait was
created and painted from photographic
materials, from a lifesize mannequin
built and especially costumed by the
artist to simulate Joe's jump suit, and
then taken to a desert like area
outdoors to simulate some painting
from life. The artist also built and
assembled the frame pictured here.
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