Notes on Sport and Art
Rarely, do the worlds of art and sport meet. Sure there are the poppy Peter Max posters that accompany world sporting events like the Olympics or the World Cup. There are also those contemporary artists who delve into the world of sport in their conceptual art, like Matthew Barney. But, the sporting figure in the art world is hard to come by, just as the artist is in the world of sport. Interestingly, both major sports events and major art events have taken on added significance as not only money making entities for the hosting cities and nations, but as the place where universal humanity is thought to be displayed with honor, courage and humility. The international ambassador of truth, Muhammad Ali, once said “writing is fighting”. Pele, said of football: "teh beautiful game". What both of these heroes, sportsmen were alluding to is that tenuous place where sport becomes a form of art and vice versa. Like great or heroic art, this moment (for it is only in moments) is characterized by beautyand a sense of challenge confronted by a Hemingwayesque grace under pressure. Ishmael Reed furthered Ali's pronouncement in the title of his 1988 collection of essays, “Thirty-Seven Years of Boxing on Paper”. The politics of both art and sport remain rife with possibility, as well as laden with inane marketing-seeking consumption. Within these realms, all of humanity's kinks, misconceptions and desires are offered as food for thought.
The "Baseball Furies" gang from the 1979 film The Warriors. So tough, so sporty with their Yankee Pinstripes and freshly tarred pine... faces painted with accents of Leigh Bowery and Casey Spooner. They fell though, those Baseball Furies. The Warriors from Coney Island owned them on their own turf. So much for the Bronx. Yeah, the Baseball Furies... so tough, so gay, so fashion, so NYC.
John White C