Art inspired by Pelé in London, a review by Alicia Bastos

Pelé: Art, Life, Football at Halcyon Gallery 26 Sep 2015 – 18 Oct 2015

© Halcyon Gallery / Press Image

A yellow double decker bus, green grass carpet and so many paparazzi that the impression was that the World Cup was being carried through the doors of Halcyon Gallery in Bond Street. But it was Pelé, the legend himself, who came in London for the opening of ‘Pelé: Art, Life, Football’, an exhibition celebrating his 75th birthday, his many talents and achievements.

Thirteen artists have been invited to produce exclusive artwork inspired by Pelé. The result is a three floor plus across the street galleries filled with a precious collection. Classic photographs of historical moments were simply reproduced, others, put into social context with painting interventions whilst another were finished with the glitzy spirit of glory. Colourful minimal paintings by Canovas are next to and the psychedelic ones created by McAlpine Miller, who mixed American pop culture icons such Walt Disney and superhero logos and Pelé’s images.

© Halcyon Gallery / Press Image

There are also limited edition elegant sculptures by Lorenzo Quinn, Santiago Montoya’s goal clock, using images from Pele’s personal archive changing every minute. Other names who produced work for the show are Ronnie Wood, Mitch Griffiths,  Russell Young, Raphael Mazzucco to name a few.

© Halcyon Gallery / Press Image

Amongst the most interesting items there is a series of Polaroid pictures taken by Andy Warhol of Pelé, which inspired the iconic painting by the pop artist who once said ”everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, but it would be Pelé whose fame would last for 15 centuries.” More curious items are Pele’s own paintings that you can appreciate whilst hearing a record of him playing guitar coming from an old school television in the corner of the room. Don’t miss the iconic memorabilia seen for the first time ever outside of Brazil, including the world famous Jules Rimet trophy, his 3 World Cup Medals football and a flag made by his grandmother.

© Halcyon Gallery / Press Image

On top of all beautifully executed art, there is also a classic and signed by Pelé limited edition photograph framed and boxed with the book for under £1000, and the exhibition book includes essays by Dr. Bernard Vere, Lecturer in Modern Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and bestselling biographer Brian Winter.

The exhibition is open to the public until the18th October at Halcyon Gallery in Bond Street and it should soon head to Brazil.

Written by Alicia Bastos

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