Art, Sports, and Politics

I never really think about politics and the economy when I look into the meaning of art works. This past summer one of the biggest sporting events took place. It was the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Months prior to it people were already excited to see the new stadium, the lineup of teams, and the games. Three weeks before the start of the World Cup, an image took over the internet. It was a mural on the doors of a school in Sao Paulo by the street artist Paulo Ito. It depicts a crying and hungry Brazilian boy with a plate holding a soccer ball in front of him. Paulo Ito's World Cup muralIt shows how Brazil still has high level of poverty, yet it’s still using billions of dollars on the World Cup. The images fame increased when the popular Facebook page TV Revolta shared it. Ito says that he does not like how the network has used his image to attack president Rousseff, as the image is criticizing Brazilian society, not the president. He told Slate that “People already have the feeling and that image condensed this feeling”.

Ito had first thought of painting the mural outside of Itaquerao Stadium, but later changed his mind. He didn’t want to put it in a poverty stricken neighborhood because they already live in what he wanted to depict, so he settled for a middle class neighborhood. He said that in that in the poor neighborhoods he likes to paint thinks they ask him to, such as soccer team symbols and Spongebob Squarepants.

He later created two other images surrounding the same topic.

His latest work is about the anti-World Cup protests.This is about the anit-World Cup protests. In June, street demonstrations confronting Brazil’s poverty, underfunded public services, urban infrastructure, and political corruption began.  After the protests turned violent the country decided to launch feel-good publicity campaign.

He also created this one about the sexual exploitation of children, which has been a concern during the World Cup.This one depicts the World Cup Concerns of th sexual expoliation of children.

Ito told LA Times that “art is a contradiction” and that “things are much more complex than any description that can fit in one or another single work of art”.  It’s amazing how much impact one simple image can have on a country. I think people always forget how much their voice counts in the great scheme of things.



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