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Artist turns iconic soccer jerseys into abstract art
Can football shirts be art? Namibian-German artist Max Siedentopf addresses the worlds of painting and football in a new book, Paint league, published by Hatje Cantz
On Sunday 11 July it will be England v Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium, so you might want to have your favorite football shirt handy.
As many reflect on the burning question of the moment: “Has football – or not – come home?”
This question prompted the Namibian-German artist to orchestrate one of the most unusual worlds collisions known to creativity. It all started with a theory: Those who avoid museums and galleries may well be in the same demographic as those who spend time watching football games – an interesting (and perhaps divisive) hypothesis.
FC Inter Milan
He needed a creative solution that would appeal to both the finest art lovers and the most dedicated football fans. Trying to score two goals with one ball, the Paint league is born – a marriage of classic football shirts and contemporary abstract art.
A creative tribute to the legendary football jerseys of the teams
The series – published in a new book by Hatje Cantz – pays homage to iconic football teams such as Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona by transforming their football shirts into acrylic paintings on canvas. .
Concept artist, photographer, director, editor and former creative director of the “unorthodox” creative agency KesselsKramer, Max Siedentopf is well known for his hard-to-forget surrealist interventions. This could be said for his piece Toto forever. In the middle of the Namib Desert, Siedentopf staged a sound installation consisting of six speakers plugged into an MP3 player with a single song on it – you guessed it, Toto’s Africa. Siedentopf said of the piece: “The song is looped and the installation runs on solar cells to keep Toto running for eternity.”
Echo abstract art icons
Back in the Paint league, things are no less surreal. Look long enough, and the icons of the color field paint begin to emerge. At first glance, what appears to be a Frank Stella painting is, in fact, an Arsenal shirt. Elsewhere, an Ellsworth Kelly-esque formation turns out to be Manchester United, and we find literal parallel lines between Juventus and Daniel Buren’s work. But perhaps the most absurd and revealing comparison of all could be an Agnes Martin-style grid emerging from a Barcelona jersey.
In this book, art lovers can get lost in Siedentopf’s minimalist approach to abstract painting, while lovers of the beautiful game can admire the colors of their football team immortalized on canvas.
Regardless of the outcome of the England vs Italy Euro 2020 final, the long-term results of Paint league remains to be seen, Siedentopf has proven that this distinctive experience between art and football is not necessarily a two-part game. §