The beautiful game

Football animator Richard Swarbrick has teamed up with art curators Bearspace and production company Hotspur and Argyle to launch an exhibition of football art, on display in London this weekend.

Football animator Richard Swarbrick has teamed up with art curators Bearspace and production company Hotspur and Argyle to launch an exhibition of football art, on display in London this weekend.

Fantasista is a collection of football-themed illustrations, photographs, installations, audio and video work by 19 artists: Thomas Goddard, Jacopo Maino, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Quiet British Accent, Otto Li, Moira Lovell, Jeannette Ehlers, Sir Peter Blake, Zoran Lucic, Philip Watkins, Steve Welsh, Ezequiel Suranyi, Stanley Chow and Swarbrick himself, who has created animations for El Clasico, The Sun, The Telegraph and Google.

“I had the idea for the exhibition a while ago, after I became aware of other artists who specialise in football through Twitter. We formed a kind of collective and have been planning to put one on for months.”

Swarbrick curated a group of illustrators and animators for the show but was looking for more variety, so teamed up with Bearspace, who sourced and commissioned “more conceptual content”, he explains.

A passionate football (and cricket fan), Swarbrick started creating animations inspired by the beautiful game at art school but gave it up after graduating.

“I thought I should pursue something more “serious”. Eventually, I became a teacher and that’s when I started again – I posted a Gareth Bale animation on YouTube, it went viral and I was signed by a production company. Ironically, it was my football work that did get taken seriously,” he says.

While the show includes a range of styles and mediums, Swarbrick says all of the art on display is united by a genuine love of – or fascination – with the sport. “If you’re a fan or you’re passionate about the game – as a lot of the artists featured are – it really comes through in your work,” he says.



Fantasista is open at the Cello Factory, 33-34 Cornwall Road, Waterloo, London SE1 8TJ until 5.00pm on Sunday, July 14. For details or to find out more about the artists involved visit fantasista.co.uk

Images (from top: I Don’t Know About Art and Hello Boys by Quiet British Accent; Pasion by Ezequiel Suranyi; Ronaldo by Richard Swarbrick; Once Upon a Time in Bermondsey by Jacopo Maino and Wallie by Philip Kennedy),

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