Filed under: Art, Basketball, Bread City | Tags: Basketball Art, Bryant Gumbel, David Stern, George Thompson, Painting, Racism in sports
The image of a Klansman playing basketball popped into George “Ewok” Thompson’s head fully-formed, like an image in a dream.
What emerged was a series of paintings titled Revisionist History. Thompson (who came up as a graffiti artist) takes the race issues underlying professional basketball, and blows them up huge with confrontational irony.
Earlier this month, Bryant Gumbel called the lockout as he saw it, claiming that commissioner David Stern “has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys.” It’s weird that people find this sort of commentary shocking, when racism is the white noise underlying basketball at every level. George Thompson takes the sentiment, and runs it through a science fiction ringer.
The classical execution of these paintings only adds to their surreality. Whether it’s a portrait of a masked Klansman in the triple-threat position, or posing behind a biblical sky, the striking images create a thought-provoking alternate reality.
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