Art has played a big part of the 2016 Rio Olympics for reasons that may not come to mind when thinking of a major sporting event. Used for different purposes throughout the only recently commencing Olympic Games, the art world is getting a fair amount of publicity for the different ways artists are using their pieces to voice messages to the people of the world gathering in Brazil.
The Protest Use
Artists have used art to protest what they perceive as Brazil’s careless use of limited financial capital for the games during a time when the country is in the midst of economic turmoil. One of the most publicized protest pieces has been that of artist João Paulo Quintella who installed a protest exhibition in an abandoned tower design by Oscar Niemeyer. In a statement that perfectly sums up the feeling of the situation by artist Adriana Varejão who stated “It is rather unfortunate that the Olympics are happening now” in an interview with The Art Newspaper.
Artists of the Countries
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Art has also been used as a way to showcase the different artists of the competing countries of the Olympics. Among those artists is JR the french artist behind the art project “The Wrinkles of the City” has created a series of giant, larger than life pieces of athletes from the various sports in the Olympics. Planted on top of buildings or in public areas the pieces can be seen from miles away. Another interesting piece is that of Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra. The marvelous 600-foot-long piece took about 100 gallons of white paint, 400 gallons of colored paint, and 3,500 cans of spray paint to create. Entitled “Etnias” the artwork is comprised of the faces of five indigenous people from nations on five continents.
Written By: Evan Edmond