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Football, futbol, soccer and art

Author (and goalkeeper), Albert Camus, wrote – “All that I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football.”

http://www.philosophyfootball.com/view_item.php?pid=169I also owe a lot to football and it’s something I’m always willing to discuss, play or watch. It’s even more appropriate to discuss today and even into the summer. In a matter of hours, over in Moscow, the Champions League Final kicks off featuring an all-English match up of Chelsea FC and Manchester United FC (I’m rooting for Man U). In a matter of a few weeks (17 days to be exact), the European Championships begin, sadly without England, but I’ll be rooting for the Orange Crush (that would be the Dutch National Team) and glued to every game I can catch on TV.
Every two years I become transfixed with the World Cup or Euro Championships – and it is heaven. I remember beautiful goals as if they were works of art and the players that create them (Pele, Maradona, Cruyff and Zidane) like artists – but I excitedly digress and this is where I bring this post back to planet art museum. With all this football on my mind, I decided to research contemporary works of art and artists influenced by or featuring this sport.

Here’s what I found:


Local artist Artur Silva is pretty cool and not because I can have a conversation about Gordon Banks with him. Artur is Brazilian which means he has the luxury of supporting some of the best teams in the history of the game. I remember watching the 2002 World Cup game between England and Brazil in a bar as Brazilian fans samba’d around me celebrating their victory. It was painful loss for an England fan, but it really opened my eyes to the beauty of Brazilian soccer. Around the same time, I came across this piece by Artur Silva and it brought back so many memories of Pele, the game, the history. So thank you to Artur for that.

I’ve written about it before, but I don’t mind beating a dead horse. Zinedine Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait is an impressive cinematic work of art that depicts the beautiful game and one of the games greatest players ever, Zizou. Directed by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, it features stunning camera work (all 17 of them), a mesmerizing soundtrack by Mogwai and clever, thoughtful editing. Do whatever you can to find this video.

Fellow blogger Phillip sent this link to me ages ago and I went nuts. German artist Susken Rosenthal creates individual portraits of specific football matches by sketching and tracking the ball movement in real time. The result is similar to that of a seismographic drawing. To someone not familiar with soccer, it may not make sense. To me it’s a work of art.

And in short -

Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco not only plays soccer but has also depicted it in some of his work. Check it out here.

Here’s an interesting piece by Brian Jungen that synthesizes Nike silver soccer balls made to resemble lava rock.

Turkish artist Omer Ali Kazma created a video installation on Turkish team, Galatasaray featuring footage from over 8 months of work. I would love to see this somehow. Can anyone help me out?

And that’s all I’ve got…for now. If you’ve made it this far and want to contribute any recommendations for contemporary artists and football, please leave me a comment.

In the meantime, enjoy this Maradona goal scored against England in the 1986 World Cup. Painful for me to watch, but quite possibly a work of art.

Filed under: Art, Current Events, Musings

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