OOF – Issue 6 - Print Matters!

OOF – Issue 6

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OOF #6

The incredible painting on the front of this issue is 'A Sweet Lob from 25 Yards' by London icon Caroline Coon. It's one of eight football-inspired paintings from her 'Arena' series, all of which are included in this issue. We've also got Dale Berning Sawa looking at the street tapestries of young French artist Delphine Dénéréaz, curator George Vasey getting all misty eyed about the ecstatic emotions in old football photos, Eddy Frankel diving deep into the relationship between Watford legend Luther Blissett and the QAnon conspiracy theory, and the amazing Swedish football writer Fredrik Ekelund letting it all out about Zlatan's great betrayal. OOF indeed.

FOOTBALL IS the quintessential communal experience. Across the world - in stadiums, bars and living rooms - countless milions of people experience collective emotion through the teams they support. As one, they feel the ecstatic joy of a goal scored, or the crushing pain of a brutal defeat. It's a mass experience, communal emotion on a huge scale. Every day, football does with ease what art constantly tries to do: it makes people feel.

And because it plays such an important part in the everyday life of so many people, it has been a recurring topic in fine art for centuries. From Flemish landscapes filled with children kicking around animal bladders to multi-screen contemporary video installations, football acts as a symbol: a metaphor for national obsession, passion, physicality, belief, and any number of human emotions and experiences.

But it's not a one-way relationship: art's job is to deconstruct the world, to help us figure out what everything means, to offer new perspectives.  The artists featured in OOF peel back the layers of meaning in this obsessive sport, and help us make sense of something bigger and more ungraspable in the process. OOF hopefully goes a little way towards laying all of that bare. Football and art have been intertwined for centuries, we're just going to try to unravel that a little bit.

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