By: Claire McKown
July 11, 2012
This summer, the Olympic games come to London and are bringing a fair amount of art along for the ride. While this may seem odd–the jocks and the art kids mixing–the Olympics has long been a source of money to fund major creative endeavors, most visibly in the architectural realm. Just think of the Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird Nest’s, which Ai Weiwei helped design for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
This year, a couple of Olympic-art related stories have caught my eye. First: the master of outrageousness, aka Damien Hirst, is now loaning art to Burger King. A spin painting by the artist entitled, ‘Beautiful Psychedelic Gherkin Exploding Tomato Sauce All Over Your Face, Flame Grilled Painting 2003,’* will hang in Burger King’s Leicester Square location. This move is an attempt to compete with BK’s biggest rival, McDonald’s, which, as a sponsor of the London Olympics, benefits from a huge amount of advertising this summer. The painting will remain on view until the end of the year, keeping fast food dining classy for months to come.
The other artwork that will be a must see this summer if you’re in London is Jeremy Deller’s bouncy Stonehenge. The Scottish artist’s piece, called ‘Sacrilege,’ is a replica of the famous ancient site, in the form of a bouncy castle that people can play on. Chosen by the Olympic committee as an attraction for this year’s games, the piece is not only fun to play on, but it also makes this part of Britain’s history accessible. Visitors to the real Stonehenge are not allowed to get anywhere near the actual site; Deller’s creation lets people explore the site in a new and fun way.
While the sports will be fun to watch, don’t forget to keep an eye out for art during the London Olympics. It looks like it will be just as fun to check out as the games!
*Thank you Mr. Hirst, for so wonderfully naming your artwork. You have a gift.