Even for those who have not been deeply involved with basketball or contemporary arts, it would be easy to perceive how interconnected they are, more in a sense in which one complements and enhances the other.
The game of basketball is comprised of fine creative movements and passion and therefore, most of the time it ends up being an aesthetic perception of reality. If we were to simply mention to anyone the adjectives “creative”, “passion” “aesthetic” and “fine movements” we could be almost certain that any given person would likely relate such adjectives to arts.
When we dig deeper into this comparison, we can initially see how one adds material and background creativity to the other. A well-taken shot from a slum-dunk, or simply a jump, is an aesthetic move that could be easily turned into a picture in someone’s living room. A public basketball court with colorful graffiti immediately provides two distinctive angles and characteristics: the game of basketball interacting with live street art often painted by local artists, interacting in this case with the entire city. When we have an overview of both the court and the graffiti on it, we see it as a unique human experience coming together in a scenario that art somehow replicates basketball, and basketball provides the background to arts.
This state of interrelationship between basketball and contemporary art has been well known by many artists who saw the need to have a compilation of this type of work.Such perception was put into practice and generated a book edited by artists Carlos Rolón, along with Dan Peterson and John Dennis, called Common Practice Basketball & Contemporary Art published by SKIRA, (ISBN 9788857243979, released on 6/22/2021 and currently out of stock indefinitely).
The work is a comprehensive compilation tome edited by over 14 multidisciplinary artists who have at one point or more utilized basketball iconography throughout the course of their practice, including Alexandre Arrechea, Holly Bass, Katherine Bernhardt, Dan Colen, Eric Haze, Paula Henderson, David Huffman, Titus Kaphar, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Carlos Rolón, Ashley Teamer, Nari Ward, Wendy White, and Jonas Wood. This compilation of visual arts interchanging with sports and resulting in arts (with the art’s background provided by sports and vice-verse as per the lines and comments of the book) is most certainly the first of its kind.
Common Practice is also the first fully illustrated publication to focus and analyze this overlap between arts and sport. Carlos Rolón, also known professionally as Dzine, is an American contemporary visual artist of Puerto Rican descendancy who graduated in Columbia College in Chicago and who was the artist responsible for making the illustrated connections, comments, and writings for this publication.
The publication caused such a fuss in the artistic world that it soon turned into an exposition in Manhattan, HOME & AWAY at the Miles McEnery Gallery located at 525 W 22nd St, in New York City. The pictures selected for the exposition show a balance point between contemporary art and basketball culture and its surroundings, all of which somehow connected to the very heart of the sport. There is a notion (when you actually see the exposition) that people around the world meet with the unique purpose of basketball and the art around these events are mostly the same, thus creating a sort of direct global connectivity between arts and sports, basketball that is.
The Exhibition brings influence, pictures and inspirations from the phrases of Common Practice: Basketball & Contemporary Art— the first comprehensive illustrated publication to contemplate the relationship between art and basketball. The unique factor of the exposition is that artists were able to connect basketball to artwork in a global scale through with a unique perception and creation of visual arts.
Back to the book and illustrations aside, the tome also features writings passages by not only Rolón but also by Dan Peterson who is the founder of Project Backboard — a non-profit organization dedicated to renovating basketball courts and improving public spaces. This release is likely to become a gateway of artistic thinking converged upon sports, and that is the unprecedent importance of this illustrated compilation.
You may try your luck picking up a copy as it is currently listed as “out of stock indefinitely”