Paintings inspired by soccer unveiled

SEVEN soccer-inspired paintings were unveiled yesterday on a wall near the Arts on Main gallery on Berea Street, Johannesburg.

Stompie Selibe, 34, was among seven South African artists who collaborated with seven Austrian artists in creating soccer-inspired works during last year's European championships.

The artists worked on seven paintings during matches, with world-renowned Austrian artist Walter Stach.

The works were created during public viewings of Euro 2008 matches in Johannesburg.

"The idea was to have two artists, one local and one Austrian, work on one art piece together," Stach said.

He said the artists worked during the live broadcasts of matches.

"We only worked during playing time," Stach explained. "In other words, during two periods of 45 minutes."

Selibe said the most challenging part of the project was during the finals.

Fourteen artists sat at a long table with two facing each other at a time. The two would work on the same paper.

This was where the tricky part came in. Every time the referee blew his whistle during the final match, the artists would shift a place to the side and pick up from where their neighbour had left off.

"So every time you would have a new partner and a new sketch to work on. The whistle could blow at two-minute intervals or at 20 minute intervals," said Stach.

Plans are under way to do similar art works during the 2010 soccer World Cup.