Wednesday, January 26, 2011

World Cup 2010, South Africa

December 2009. Crayon and acrylic on canvas. 76 x 91 cm.

The FIFA World Cup is the finals of a 4 year competition to determine which nation has the best soccer team. These are the flags of each country in order of qualification. Even though I played soccer since the age of 8 (around 1980), I didn't even know about the event until 1994 when the US hosted it. I watched most of 1998 in bars and at friend's houses because I didn't have a tv. In 2002 we got a satellite to see every game live, but still had to watch the final in Spanish on Univision because ESPN only replayed it at something like 10 AM instead of 4. I won $80 with a wager placed in Las Vegas for Brazil, and lost another $10 betting Italy. For World Cup 2006 I painted flags of game winners and hung them on the front of our house. I kept track of all goals scored in a notebook with brief discriptions of the player, time and how it was executed. I started some little portraits and play diagrams, but the flags were consuming and I was just beginning to crank out the Super Starry Night. (The leftover panels became Self Portrait in Pieces and VVG's SSN was finished only 17 months later!) This painting began in October and I had to wait until December for all teams to qualify. For me it represents the importance of the greatest sporting event on earth. Despite the fact that it is not believed to be very relevent here in America, I feel real unity to humanity one month every 4 years because almost everyone else is watching these beautiful games.

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