Beautiful, isn’t it? I imagine you’re nodding sagely and stroking your chin right now. Of course, Eric Cantona often likened football to art, but I doubt he ever saw Devon White in action. Below is a selection of football inspired artistic endeavour. I think these are all more aesthetically appealing than watching Devon pulling off a turn that an oil tanker could manage, then bundling it wide from one yard (sorry, Dev):
I like these prints. I think Vicarage Roadwould look quite nice hanging in my bathroom, or even pride of place on the living room wall. Imagine my jealous guests, gazing on the striking contrast of yellow and red, “yes, yes, it really makes the room”. Other than the Vic, I like the old Highbury and Parkhead prints. Sadly, not every club is covered, but you could try making your own by tracing over a print out from Google Maps on satellite view, then colouring it in. It’d be like something from Hart Beat (tune!) and definitely not like something from the massively inferior Art Attack.
This photographic collection by van der Meer focuses on amateur football from across Europe. Unsurprisingly, it’s the backdrops that make these shots, from rural England to inner city Berlin. Looking at these images reminded me of watching my friend’s team, Agnone, which is a smallish town in the hills of the Molise region in Southern Italy. They were playing a neighbouring town and the backdrop to the pitch was incredible - plunging valleys and snow capped hills . If only I’d had my camera…
Mr Clarke’s photos can make you nostalgic for the past whilst simultaneously reminding you of how shit football stadiums were in England before the Premier League. They also document the natural style and grace that all Englishmen possess. However, it’s a picture of Gretna fans that I most enjoy. I guess it’s not hard to make Scotland look bleak, but this image implies a life of such unbearable and relentless cruelty that the popularity of Buckfast is immediately understood.
I had to mention ‘Going to the match’ at some point. Lowry AKA “The Artist from The North” is a perfect firgurehead for the North South divide; loved by Mancs and unloved by the snooty London-centric art world. It’s appropriate then that a permanent collection has been housed in the Lowry centre, a stone’s throw from Old Trafford, which you should definitely check out. I like Lowry, and I like this painting:
In any reference to modern culture you get cool points for bringing Germany into the discussion, so step forward ‘visual artist’ Andreas Gursky. Gursky grew up in Dusseldorf, which happens to be where Kraftwerk come from, so let’s assume they hooked up at some point to create some untouchably hip multi-media shit. Gursky featured the local team in a piece simply titled ‘Fortuna Dusseldorf’, which, simply put, means they are in the art know, and your team, isn’t. Incidentally, I notice this piece is part of the UBS art collection. I’m sure their Board will hope it holds its value longer than some of their other recent investments.
The prints on the site Mini Boro are a little more affordable than Gursky, and a lot more joyous. As you’d expect from the name, there is a strong Middlesborough theme in this work (I particularly like the Fjørtoft print, having completely forgotten about his celebration). However, there are is an increasingly diverse range to view and purchase, like Edgar Davids, Eric Cantona, and this excellent representation of the Cruyff turn, which is available to buy here.
I’ve already mentioned this site, but if you haven’t visited yet, make sure you do. The drawing is excellent and the dialogue is sharp. Although the majority of content is football related, this one about T-shirts is my favourite.
Finally, anyone who can turn MS Paint into a match report has something special. Jones might just be a genius.