With a day to go until the “official” opening of the games, here are some of the thoughts behind the images, which celebrate art and sport, from the contemporary British artists who created them, which will forever be linked with the 2012 Olympic Games.
Paralympic poster titled Go by Michael Craig-Martin- A stopwatch with the word GO across the face to reflect the bursting immediacy, excitement and anticipation of the moments before a starter pistol is fired. It also represents the roar of the crowd as they cheer on their favourite towards the finish line. Michael Craig-Martin – A 70 year-old conceptual artist and painter pairs common objects and words to try to create images which can be familiar with unexpected links.
Olympic poster entitled Swimming by Howard Hodgkin – The image is a deep, swirling blue mass flooding across the page in which an outline of a figure can be made out as if it is pushing off after a tumble turn. Hodgkin wants the fluid brush strokes to capture the movement of water and the sensation of swimming. Hodgkin – A 79-year-old contemporary painter who is the only one of the dozen who has already designed an Olympic poster – for the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. Hodgkin describes his paintings as representational pictures of emotional situations.
Olympic poster entitled Work No 1273 by Martin Creed - Five single brush marks in tones based on the Olympic colours. The marks are arranged in an ascending form like an extended podium so there are more places than just first, second and third. Martin Creed won the Turner prize in 2001 with a work that involved a gallery’s lights being switched on and off. Creed’s Work No 850 involved a single athlete running at top speed through the Duveen galleries at Tate Britain – every 30 seconds, all day, every day.
Paralympic poster entitled LOVE in 2012 by Bob and Roberta Smith - He has used the style of community action banners, street signs and fun fair posters to create hand painted messages about what is needed to be an athlete – courage, inspiration, sweat and love. Bob and Roberta Smith – The conceptual artist, also known by the name Patrick Brill, hopes people will question high art. His work has included brightly-coloured slogans painted on reclaimed timber or board.
Olympic poster entitled LOndOn 2012 Rachel Whiteread - A pattern of overlapping rings in Olympic colours. The rings are based on the Olympic rings symbol but also represent the marks left by drinking bottles or glasses. They act as memories of a social gathering such as athletes in the stadium during the opening ceremony or the spectators of the Olympics, according to Whiteread. The 1993 Turner Prize winner is one of Britain’s leading contemporary sculptors. Drawing remains a key part of her work.
Olympic poster entitled Divers by Anthea Hamilton - It is up to the viewer to decide whether the athletic legs in the centre of the image are of a diver in a gymnastic pose or of a synchronised swimmer holding a balletic position. Hamilton has made a name with work built from physical prowess and representations of the human, especially the female, body.
Paralympic poster called Superhuman Nude by Fiona Banner – A study of a Paralympic cyclist created with descriptions which help to make him more of a sculptural than a human form. The focus on his strength and physicality makes it clear he is an elite athlete at the top of his game, according to Banner. A Turner Prize nominee in 2002, she creates nude studies from studies of people and completes them with verbal description.
Paralympic poster called Birds 2012 by Tracey Emin – Two small birds perched on branches and appear to kiss beneath the words “You inspire me with Your determination And I love you.” The Agitos, the Paralympic emblem, floats below them like feathers or leaves falling from the tree. Emin describes the print as a “love letter” or dedication to the Paralympic Games and its’ athletes. She used the Paralympic values of inspiration and determination as her starting point. Tracey Emin has progressed from being a fashion student at Medway College of Design in the 1980s to a current spot as a high-profile and notorious member of the group of contemporary artists dubbed the YBAs (Young British Artists). Critics say her work can both shock and comfort.
Paralympic poster entitled Capital by Gary Hume – He has abstracted element from an image of a wheelchair tennis player combining them with foliage and a soft and subtle colour palette. Gary Hume – Was on the 1996 Turner prize shortlist and represented Britain at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999.
Paralympic poster entitled Big Ben 2012 by Sara Morris – An abstract representation of Big Ben complete with vivid grids and colours. This creates a sense of dynamism and evokes images of athletics tracks, swimming lanes and the markings in a sports arena. Sara Morris – The British-born American artist is a painter and filmmaker who has always been interested in exploring means of communication.
Olympic poster entitled Rose Rose by Bridget Riley – Colourful horizontal stripes arranged like swimming lanes or athletics tracks. The tightly-packed bold colours are also meant to suggest a feel of the energy of sport and the Olympics. London-born Riley, 80, vibrantly-coloured optical paintings have made her one of Britain’s best-known artists since the mid-1960s. She manipulates shapes and colour to create illusions of movement and light.
Olympic poster entitled For The Unknown Runner by Chris Ofili - The figure of a runner, somewhere between a super-athlete and a mythical being, sprints past a watching crowd. The figure is framed by a vase motif, a reference to the Ancient Olympic Games. Ofili hopes his image is a powerful dedication to both Olympic history and the future stars of the London 2012 Games. The 1998 Turner Prize winner is known for his intensely coloured and intricately ornamented work. The paintings of Manchester-born Ofili, 43, are inspired by personal experience, race, folklore, biblical tales and, for the last few years, by Trinidad where he lives.
Sports fans got the surprise of their lives when David Beckham unexpectedly dropped in on their photo booth snapshots. Stunned schoolboy Christian Lewis, who was with his mother Elaine, burst in to tears when he spotted Beckham come out of the darkness.
The former England skipper and LA Galaxy player gave the lad a hug as the youngster’s mother looked on. The trick was played on 60 members of the public who were posing at photo booth in Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, a stone’s throw from the Olympic Park. They were all sporting Team GB kit for the supporter snaps.
They are all part of the Take The Stage campaign run by adidas. Beckham, who was hiding in a secret section of the booth, said: “It was a unique experience for me and the people who took part and there were some great reactions when we surprised them in the photo booth. “I always love coming back to London and the activity was a great opportunity for me to get involved in the adidas Take The Stage campaign and get behind Team GB.”
See more reaction from the lad who met his hero below… Good ol’ Becks..
A Czech artist has re-modelled a traditional London double-decker bus into a mechanical sculpture of an athlete doing push-ups to celebrate the Olympic Games opening in the British capital on Friday.
David Cerny, whose past works have enraged European politicians and sought to poke fun at rival artists, has installed the bus outside the Czech Olympic House in London’s Islington neighbourhood.
Cerny bought the 1957 bus from an owner in the Netherlands, attached two huge arms, an electrical engine and a lot of wiring and suspension tools to make it into a piece of art named “London Boosted”.
The mechanisms inside make the 6-tonne bus move up and down on bright red arms, raising the chassis into various angles, accompanied by recordings of a groaning voice and video projections in the windows.
“There is one common exercise for every sportsman in the world, and that is push-ups,” Cerny said.
“It is training for sport activities but at the same time it is also punishment in armies and prisons. So the push-ups are a very universal physical activity…It is in a way very ironic.”
“We will see how long the athlete can work out for,” Cerny said. “Let’s hope he will exercise for the full three weeks. He will be the biggest sportsman there.”
Yesterday me and Steve (from Havi) had the great pleasure of representing Boxer to pick up an award from Starpack. The Starpack Industry Awards scheme is now in its 53rd year and is the UK’s premier annual awards scheme recognising innovation in packaging design and technology.
Boxer and Havi colaborated on the McDonald’s Sharing Box for Europe, designing the package from the ground up – Havi handling the structural & technical design and Boxer with the branding & graphics.
The packaging picked up two awards; ‘Award of Excellence’ for the Food category & ‘Highly Commended’ for the Structural Design category.
Here are the judges’ comments:
“Simple with terrific stand out design. Easy to assemble at point of use, innovative design incorporating iconic brand images. Sound packaging for a fast food outlet – new concept. Good design innovation with practicality. Innovative design – eye-catching and easy to erect in restaurant. Good for disposal and recycling.”
“Simple graphics/use of colour delivered an intriguing packing concept. Sound functionality and easy access to products. Lovely design. Could indeed be iconic. Simple to assemble and clever use of 3D to create the handle.”
Checkout the Starpack website to see the other industry and student winners.
What I love about the new Waldo Trommler design is that they have taken iconography to a new level. It’s simple, beautiful and artistic, which given many of us feel our homes are an outward presentation of the creativity within us, it’s apt that this brand has recognised that and put design over function.