Oof originally launched as a biannual magazine exploring the intersection between art and football, and in recent years has hosted a number of pop-up exhibitions around London involving creatives such as Juno Calypso and Emma Cousin.
Now, the platform has its first permanent home, located on the grounds of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London. To kick off proceedings, Oof is running an exhibition, playfully titled Balls, which features works by 17 artists. Among them are Sarah Lucas, Hank Willis Thomas and Jazz Grant, who have each transformed footballs into sculptural pieces.
“Each artist has sabotaged the essential function of the humble football and spun it into something spectacular, something totally unrelated to the game,” says co-curator Justin Hammond. “These sculptures span the past 20 years and are monuments to personal and political histories, childhood dreams and overwhelming desires.”
The relationship between football and creativity is coming increasingly to the fore as the game itself transforms, and the launch of Oof Gallery only underlines this. For some, the works on display will feel too far removed from the game, however the space is designed to offer football fans an unpretentious entry point into contemporary art, a world all-too-often shrouded in exclusivity.
Balls is at Oof Gallery, London until November 21; oofmagazine.com/oof-gallery