During an epic event such as the World Cup, important aspects often get pushed aside for ones that would generate hype. To reignite interests on the crucial issues once again, sporting giant PUMA created several initiatives leading up to this year’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Each will focus on elements within the games themselves as well as unique perspectives that one usually associate with it. An an inaugural to what is to come, PUMA commissioned the talented portraitist, Kehinde Wiley, in creating a series of large-than-life portraits of professional African soccer players to participate in this year’s World Cup. Dubbed Legends of Unity, the paintings highlight Africa Unity Kit initiative by PUMA currently underway. In a region of known for its conflicts and strife, the message of a common passion in soccer will unite all, thus finding strength through a common goal.
Dominated the host gallery, Deitch Project in SoHo, is the Unity Paining, an oil on canvas monolith measured at 108-inch x 144-inch. Featured Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon) John Mensah (Ghana) and Emmanuel Eboue (ivory Coast) exchanging greetings, done in Kehinde Wiley’s unique fashion of superimposing masculine identities against feminine backdrop. With live beat provided by Zozo Afrobeat, several hundred attendees packed the space on Wooster Street, including Nicola Vassell, director at Deitch Projects, Anthony Evrard, director from PUMA, hip-hop/graffiti pioneer Fab Five Freddie, legendary portraitist Chuck Close, and the gallerist Jeffrey Deitch. The exhibition will be ongoing till this Saturday, February 20th.
18 Wooster Street | Map
New York, NY 10013
TEL #: +1-212-941-9475
Exhibition Date: February 18th (Today!) – February 20th (Saturday)