Pelé Announces Art, Life, Football, Exhibition

23 Apr 2015

Halcyon Gallery and legendary footballer Pelé have today announced Art, Life, Football, an exhibition celebrating Pelé’s 75th birthday and his lifetime of sporting and humanitarian achievements.

Halcyon Gallery commissioned its internationally acclaimed artists to create a unique exhibition in honour of the global sporting legend.

Opening on Saturday, 26th September, the exhibition will display photography, original paintings, limited sculptures and prints by 15 artists including Andy Warhol, Lorenzo Quinn and Pedro Paricio.

A highlight of the exhibition will be Warhol’s original painting Pelé (1977) from the ‘Athletes’ series of ten portraits of sporting heroes. The renowned pop artist famously predicted that one day, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, but it would be Pelé whose fame would last for “15 centuries.”

Other artists at the exhibition include Mitch Griffiths, Russell Young, Raphael Mazzucco, Stuart McAlpine Miller, Santiago Montoya and Ernesto Cánovas.

Pelé said: “I was very honoured when Halcyon Gallery told me that they were going to create the Art, Life, Football exhibition to celebrate my birthday (here in London). Art has played a big role in my life for many years and it has been a very humbling experience to have so many talented artists creating such beautiful work in my honour.

“While I am looking forward to seeing the full exhibition in September, it will be particularly special to see the Andy Warhol picture of me hanging in the gallery. Andy and I had a great time together many years ago in New York and I am looking forward to sharing his remarkable painting with London for the first time.”

Paul Green, President of Halcyon Gallery added: “Pelé was a true sporting artist and we are thrilled that we will be joining in the celebrations of his 75th birthday with this unique exhibition.

Halcyon Gallery prides itself on working with a wide range of creative talent and, to have one of the world’s most creative footballers in history as their inspiration, has produced some extraordinary artwork that we look forward to showing off to the public in September.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue which will include essays by Dr. Bernard Vere, Lecturer in Modern Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and bestselling biographer Brian Winter. A unique presentation box comprising a framed, signed, limited edition print and catalogue will also be available. 

Of Pelé’s enduring impact, Winter writes:

“The way we feel about Pelé, we’re not supposed to feel about anybody any more. In our era of cynicism, of focus groups and ‘big data’ and celebrity tweets composed by armies of tap-tapping public relations drones, Pelé is a beacon of simple, non-empirical emotion. Something about the man makes us happy, joyous, whole. We need not be fans of football, or even sport, to feel his magic. More than half of the planet’s people weren’t even born when Pelé played his final professional match, in 1977. Yet, somehow, he makes them smile too. He delights and inspires, even today.”