Love it or hate it 2010 is going football crazy thanks to the World Cup. To celebrate the long standing relationship between Puma and African football, Puma commissioned Kehinde Wiley, one of the most sought after artists in the world to to createÂ 4 original works inspired by 3 famous football names and African-inspired products and artwork.
Says Puma, “African-American Wiley is best known for using contemporary men in poses taken from the annals of art history and for his distinctive use of elaborate, graphic and colourful wallpaper-like backgrounds. Puma sponsored football stars, Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, John Mensah (Ghana) and Emmanuel EbouÃ© (Ivory Coast) modeled for Wiley as he painted individual portraits of each player wearing their national team kits”.
Brooklyn bred and a Yale graduate, Kehinde Wiley has gained reputation over the years for creating very large, brightly patterned paintings of young hip hop African American men in street clothes not unlike in old portraits of the 17th and 19th century European art.
Unity is the 4th portrait in the series with all 3 players together wearing the Puma Unity Kit, a limited edition uniform designed to be a third kit shared by all African teams symbolizing the idea of unity and the united countries of Africa; PUMA sponsors 12 national teams and actively promote native arts and other cultural intiatives through various programs.
“In each portrait, Wiley captures the essence of each player using the rich heritage, customs and people of Africa as inspiration” says Puma. The portraits were 1first unveiled in Berlin on on 20 January 2010 and since February, the portraits have traveled as an exhibition to Paris, London, New York and Beijing. After their next exhibition in Milan the exhibition will stop in South Africa in June for the World Cup.
The collection usesÂ 7 graphic patterns from Kehinde’s existing works and uses bright, bold, colour-blocking patterns for the collection. Kehinde has also lent his signature patterns to the PUMA SS10 Puma Africa lifestyle collection of apparel, footwear and accessories that will be available in Malaysia from April 2010 onwards.
For more info, log on to www.puma.com. Check out the collection below!