Nobody else captures childhood hero worship like the one and only Lynda Barry.
Ward Roberts’ colorful basketball court photographs look like playgrounds from after the apocalypse. I found them on Tumblr and couldn’t get enough.
The tropical public spaces that Ward records are abandoned. No people or players. The empty courts with neatly painted baselines have this mix of careful human attention to detail and impersonal detachment. It’s totally spooky and rad.
I wanted to see more, but I had no idea who the photographer was. Nobody gave any attribution. So I went down a deep Tumblr rabbit hole to find their source… No luck. Only after some hardcore reverse-Google-Image-searching did Ward Roberts’ name finally pop-up.
I discovered that Ward’s court photographs are showing right now in NYC’s new TUNICA gallery, so I got in touch to ask him a few questions about his thoughts on Tumblr.
Filed under: Art, Basketball, Bread City, Phoenix Suns | Tags: Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller
“He was a great con man. Ya know, he was always crying to the ref, running off, flopping. Ya know, knock you down, smack you and act like he was the one getting smacked. I … ya know … tell ya … I hated Reggie.”
– Patrick Ewing
image via Fat Shawn Kemp
Filed under: Art, Basketball, Bread City, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Michael Jordan, New York Knicks | Tags: 1990s Culture, Courtside, John Starks, Jonah Hill, Michael Jordan, NBA
“The evolution of the Hollywood seat began in 2007, when the NBA allowed teams to shrink the size of their scorer’s table to boost the number of revenue-generating seats…
In New York, the Knicks have 145 floor seats priced from $2,850 to $3,600 per seat per game, or between $122,550 and $154,800 for a typical full regular-season schedule at Madison Square Garden. All are sold out and the majority of floor-seat ticket holders are individual ticket holders. Yes, Lee owns his seats.”
– From Sports Business Journal, 5/21/2012
Filed under: Art, Basketball, Los Angeles Lakers | Tags: Basketball Art, James Worthy, Jonas Woods
From artist Jonas Woods’ solo show at L.A.’s David Kordansky Gallery. For everyone on the left coast, Woods’ show closes on this Saturday, May 12th.
Filed under: Art, Basketball, Bread City, Jeff Koons | Tags: 1980s Aesthetics, 1980s NBA, Art History, Basketball Art, Costacos Brothers, Jeff Koons
The Costacos Brothers’ awesome 1980s sports posters were hung on bedroom walls across the country with scotch tape and awe. And in 1985, they were also hung in a gallery by Jeff Koons, who went on to sell them for hundreds of thousands of dollars as his own work.
Call it a hostile art takeover. How else could Koons manage to appropriate six of the Costacos’ well-known basketball posters for Equilibrium, his first solo show? It was easy. He went to Nike, bought the rights for an undisclosed amount, and started printing the certificates of authenticity.
Curators can spin Koons’ conceptual power move this way and that. But here’s the real deal, straight from his 1992 Taschen book: “It’s about artists using art for social mobility…white middle-class kids have been using art the same way that other ethnic groups have been using basketball — for social mobility.”
In contemporary art and basketball, big personalities rule. Koons saw something of himself in the Costacos Brothers’ one-shot athlete mythologies. He indulged this superstar artist fantasy by finding a way to justify flipping the posters as his own product.
From the perspective of today’s age of 24/7 internet image curation, where support for authorship is zilch, the whole story doesn’t seem that shocking. The idea of cool images being re-contextualized is familiar to anyone who knows understands what “re-blog” means. But how many re-blogs have you heard of netting $150,000 at Christies?
Tracking down the Equilibrium posters on the web is difficult, these days. After all, creating scarcity is a key element of how Koons transformed them into expensive art objects. So like bedroom sunlight faded so many Costacos posters over the years, every blog hit devalues Koons’ work a tiny bit more. Enjoy.
Filed under: Art, Basketball, Bread City | Tags: Basketball Art, Italo Calvino, NBA, Ron Artest
Noise vs. Lightness. Death to assisted resonance!