Recently, Sam Blain had this to say about Peter Simek's article, "The Most Successful Dallas Artist Ever" (David Bates) which appeared in DMagazine.com, in February 2014:
"I'm still trying to digest this article, since February...and, it's just not happening. Perhaps it's the title of the article. I realize, David Bates is getting quite a bit of press; but, to say he's the "most successful Dallas artist ever" is really stretching things. Maybe Peter Simek is able to pull this off with D Magazine, since it's a regional publication. For historical reasons, the story still doesn't play right. There have been artists in Dallas' past who have gained much more international prominence in the art world, than David Bates...which almost makes this Simek article appear to be a publicity piece, rather than an article of any historical merit. It's not fair to David Bates and his work, it's not fair to dealers representing him... and, it's certainly not fair to a quite a number of other Dallas artists...such as: Jim Brooks (pioneer member of the Abstract Expressionists), Noel Mahaffey (pioneer member of the Sharp Focus Realists), James Surls, Chapman Kelley (whose Wildflower Works projects have probably had more international press coverage than any Dallas artist in history), Everett Spruce, Bob Yarber and Alexandre Hogue. I'm happy for David Bates' success; and, I'm sure he'll even grow, stylistically, in the years to come. I think we can count on it; but, to say he's the "most successful Dallas artist ever" is absolutely delusional."