Saturday, 5 November 2011

The 2012 Olympics and Paralympics - Where's the Art Competition?

A set of posters, and programme illustrations, to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been unveiled. The artists involved are: Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Tracey Emin, Anthea Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Chris Ofili, Bridget Riley, Bob and Roberta Smith, and Rachel Whiteread. Here are some of the posters (click for larger image):

I rather like them all but I do have a real issue with the choice of artists. It's the same old names again. It's the same bunch of celebrity artists we wheel out for every event. Is that really in the spirit of the Olympics? After all, everyone competing will be an amateur and most will be unknown names. Shouldn't the choice of artists reflect that? The UK can boast thousands of brilliant but unknown artists who would have triple jumped at the chance to represent their country. Why couldn't we have had a competition for them?

It's such a shame. The cult of celebrity has once more got its claws into something it really shouldn't have. And, yet again, the opportunity to find the next Tracey Emin or Chris Ofili has been missed.

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