We are advised early and often that we shouldn’t label children or people in general. Well, it is my opinion that we should also refrain from labeling hobbies and interests. To that note, it has been my observation that many people treat art and athletics as mutually exclusive. However, these two passions go hand in hand in many circumstances. Several fabulous visual artists are athletes, have a passion for sports, and/or reference sports in their work. Hence, be a good sport and look at four fun artists who also have a passion for athletics.



Robin Rhode

Balthazar, Robin Rhode


Robin is a South Africa–born artist who is based in Berlin, but arguably still produces his best work in Johannesburg. His works are in several public collections, such as that of Centre Pompidou in Paris; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Pérez Art Museum Miami; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His current show, Borne Frieze, focuses on his coming-of-age in post–apartheid South Africa. The drawings, photographs, and sculptures are breathtaking. He has a concurrent show, Drawing Waves, at the Drawing Center, which features stop-action photographs. Robin utilizes doppelgängers partaking in activities like surfing, fishing, and a variety of everyday activities. My son was absolutely convinced that the above photograph referenced baseball, because we know Robin is a fan. While Robin adored hearing my young, precocious son’s ideas, he said the piece had absolutely nothing to do with sports, but appreciated how a young collector’s perspective is based on a young person’s life experiences.


Robin Rhode: Borne Frieze
On View Until August 21, 2015
Lehmann Maupin
536 West 22nd Street
New York City




Orel, Jonas Wood

Orel, Jonas Wood


Jonas Wood is a very highly regarded, young contemporary artist who paints and draws bright, optimistic memories of subjects like domestic spaces, landscapes, sports, and athletes. He is definitely most well known for his mid-century-looking plants (usually plated in wife Shio Kusaka’s pottery) and sports references. This factoid was an excellent angle on getting Mr. Dottie to his show at Kordansky last winter. The players he features are usually larger than life (literally and figuratively), and just plain fun. I am also a huge fan of Wood’s basketball wallpaper. Wood has exhibited in highly respected programs internationally and has been part of several group shows, including those at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the High Line in New York.


David Kordansky Gallery
5130 West Edgewood Place
Los Angeles

Gagosian Gallery
Locations Internationally



Liberty, Hank Willis Thomas at City Hall Park

Liberty, Hank Willis Thomas at City Hall Park


Hank Willis Thomas lives and works in New York. He is considered a conceptual artist and explores pop culture, race, identity, media, commodity, and advertising. Thomas has exhibited throughout the globe and his work is in many public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Brooklyn Museum. Thomas has examined issues related to literal and theoretical branding in his photographs of athletes and sports-brand logos, and has become well known for his sculptures of arms holding basketballs. His most recent piece, Liberty, currently showing at City Hall Park, is based on a 1980s Harlem Globetrotters image.


Jack Shainman Gallery
524 West 24th Street
New York City

Public Art Fund: Image Objects
On View Until November 20, 2015
City Hall Park
Broadway & Chambers Street
New York City



Steel Eroded Chicago Bulls Jacket, Daniel Arsham. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli; Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Steel Eroded Chicago Bulls Jacket, Daniel Arsham. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli; Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Daniel Arsham is a New York– and Miami–based contemporary artist whose sculpture is informed by architecture and performance. He shows all over the world, and has received great attention for his solo projects as well as his collaborations with Pharrell, “Snarkitecture,” and choreographer Merce Cunningham. Arsham has recently even embarked upon a multi-installment film project. His works are a part of numerous collections including the Walker Art Center, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, and the Dior collection in Paris. When I think about art and sports, his Steel Eroded Chicago Bulls Jacket immediately comes to mind. Arsham is best known for creating or “resurrecting” static objects previously in crystal and volcanic rock. Here, he used eroded metal to make it look as though there is a body in the jacket.


Daniel Arsham: Remember the Future
On View Until August 30, 2015
Contemporary Arts Center
44 East 6th Street

Xx Lottie Dottie