John McEnroe Art Collecting Tennis Legend

Sports and art are similar in many ways. They both have themed exhibitions, engaged visual statements, design, collaborations, and then there are also sportsmen that are keen art collectors. Many sportswoman and men love art. Some of the legends invest in art; while most have never had training in art history or literature, they are naturally drawn by the intricacy of creative expression. Some of the biggest sports legends that are also prominent art collectors include David Beckham, John McEnroe, Grant Hill, Sami Allagui and Fabio Capello.

John McEnroe

As one of the most famous tennis stars in US tennis history, John McEnroe might not seem to many as someone who would be an art collector. That is only until you lay eyes on his impressive collection of art. During McEnroe’s amazing career he collected mostly contemporary art, which includes works of Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol and Michel Basquiat. McEnroe not only personally know Warhol, but he also commissioned him to produce a portrait of him and Tatum O’Neal, his wife at the time.

John McEnroe Tennis Legend

To the world, John Patrick McEnroe was the bad-tempered, yet brilliant sportsmen. The tennis legend also had several other interests besides sports. This became known on the 1st of July when he handed over a never publicly displayed portrait of him and his first wife over to Sotheby’s to be auctioned.

McEnroe later told the press that his love for art started back in the early seventies. John’s parents never visited art galleries, he had the perfect opportunity in 1977 during the French championships. Mary Carillo invited McEnroe to the Jeu de Paume, the main reason for the visit was to view the Water Lilies painting of Monet. At that stage, McEnroe did not know a Michelangelo form a Matisse.

Tennis Legend John McEnroe Meets Warhol at Studio 54

John McEnroe also remembered meeting Warhol during one of his visits to the night club called Studio 54, and the tennis star was mentioned in the artist diary in 1979.

McEnroe remembered the artist as kind of weird taking pictures while partying and only later found out that Warhol was one of the most successful and influential artists. In 1986, when McEnroe married Tatum O’Neil, he bid at a charity action $30,000 to have Warhol paint their portrait. Warhol also painted stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe from publicity shots.

Most of his work is based on Polaroid shots. Warhol visited the McEnroe residence to take photographs of the couple. It was planned that he would do several paintings, although the first took quite a long time and it was the only one completed before Warhol died.

John McEnroe’s marriage failed due to cocaine use and professional pressure, and they got divorced in 1992. He put the portrait in storage and because the couple had three children, he could not give each a picture of their mom and dad by Warhol. This is the main reason he decided to sell the painting and make a donation to charity.

All Las Vegas, Moody Blue, The Winner Takes it All and Shape of My Heart Betting Gambling Songs

When massive stars release hits about Las Vegas, Winners and Tumbling Dice become hits and you realise just how vital gambling is in both the real and art world. Thousands of painters have created sensational art pieces
regarding horse racing, soccer, rugby and other sports forms and when it comes to art sports, sports betting and gambling are some of the most popular themes.

Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley

Every playlist includes one track sang by the King and in most cases that track is Viva Las Vegas. It was also the theme song for the film in which Elvis Presley can be seen as Lucky Jackson, released in 1964. Viva Las Vegas is a song about the love for the casino haven we all know as Las Vegas. It is a celebration of the thrill of betting, the bright lights of Vegas and how it sets everyone’s souls on fire as the stakes rise higher. Moody Blue is another song by Elvis Presley that combines gambling with relationships; in this hit, he refers to the feelings he has for a special lady as being a gamble.

The Winner Takes it All – Abba

Everyone loves the Swedish pop band Abba; some admit it others don’t. Still one of their most popular tracks remains The Winner Takes it All. The title of the road is a common gambling phrase and whether gamblers inspired the title or the title made the phrase even more popular is still arguable. The song most believe was recorded after Bjorn Ulvaeus got divorced from Agnetha Faltskog. It about how the winner walks away with all and the loser remaining behind without anything and feels small. Shape of my Heart – Sting.

Shape of my Heart – Sting

Not everyone pays close attention to the lyrics of most songs. Probably only die-hard Sting fans have noticed that the Shape of my Heart is all about the luck and fate of a poker player. Now that you know what the song is about. It is easy to identify what it is all about; it explains that a player plays for money, not respect and that the right numbers can lead to a victory dance. When interviewed, Sting, told that the song is about a gambler, featured as a card-playing philosopher.

Ace of Spades – Motorhead

NetEnt recently released a video slot in celebration of the band, although it was not the first time Motorhead’s music had some ties with gambling. The signature song of the massive rock ban is Ace of Spades released in 1980, and the slot machines inspired it, Lemmy loved to play in pubs in London. White Line Fever is the title of his autobiography after he passed away in 2015. It included how he could not sing about spinning wheels and fruits and therefore packed in several metaphors into his songs.

Betting and Gambling Songs – Poker Face & The Gambler

Music and the lyrics that go with it has always reflected that which is most important, relationships, betting, love and life. Whether it is pop, country, folk or hip-hop, there are plenty of options available for every musical preference.

Music is by far the most fan-supported artform and also covers every single type of betting or gambling from Vegas casinos. Craps, cards and sports betting, so if you’re a keen bettor, there are bound to be a tune you’d like to bop along to while placing your bets.

The Gambler – Kenny Rodgers

The most known of gambling or betting songs are probably The Gambler sang by Kenny Rodgers, this hit was released in 1978 and told the tale of an encounter a gambler had on a train. Written by Don Schlitz, the song called The Gambler was recorded in Nashville in 1978, and Johnny Cash added it to his album titled Gone Girl. The Gambler became a worldwide hit once the Larry Butler version sung by Kenny Rodgers was released and became won him a Grammy award in 1980. Several of the phrases in the lyrics are still popular with gamblers everywhere. These include knowing when to walk away or knowing when to run, knowing when to hold your cards and knowing when to fold.

Poker Face – Lady Gaga

The hit that makes Lady Gaga a considerable star was Poker Face, it is this song that draws a parallel between the favorite card game and a relationship that made her an international star. As her first ever major hit, Poker Face is based on keeping a neutral face during connections and poker games. It is about not letting the opponent know whether your hand is good or bad and this is when a card game is played by a professional. The set of love is described as a card game, one in which you need to control your emotions and remain neutral, and it’s a trick that many think of as fine art.

When Gaga was interviewed on British television, she shared that the song, Poker Face, was about keeping a poker face at all time especially during intimate moments. Although the synth-pop song is also based on bisexuality. Topping the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australian charts for several weeks. It became the best-selling single in 2009 when 9.5 million copies were sold in a single year.

RedOne and Gaga wrote poker Face and during an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine Gaga explained in detail some of the lyrics and explained it was written to deal with her bisexuality. Poker Face was also performed by Gaga on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Paul O’Grady Show, at the 2009 Much Music Video Awards and at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. Several remixes have since been made of the song and include the Space Cowboy Remix as well as the Jody den Broeder Remix.

Ernie Barnes Successful NFL Player & Accomplished Artist

Ernie Barnes is most known for his successful career as a professional football player who played for the Baltimore Colts from 1959 up to 1960. When he was only 22 years old, he was selected by the Washington Redskins who renounced their decision once they learned he was a Negro. Barnes always preferred to be called Ernest but that all changed after an interview with the sportswriter of the Baltimore News-Post, who then published an article, calling him Ernie. The new name remained, and he became Ernie Barnes from the date the article was published back in July 1960.

Professional Football Career

Once Baltimore released Ernie Barnes, he was immediately signed by the Titans for New York although left the team in October only two days after Howard Glenn died at the Jeppesen Stadium. Barnes joined the Los Angeles Chargers, and when he moved, he started playing for the San Diego Chargers.

During off-seasons, he loved working at the YMCA with the program director as well as the sports editor of The Voice newspaper, and he wrote for the weekly column that was called A Matter of Sports. His first ever television interview was in 1962 on KGTV on The Regis Philbin Show. After not seeing each other after that, they met up 45 years later at the New York City tribute to Ernie Barnes.

Ernie Barnes, the Painter

Barnes, the accomplished painter, started designing the covers for albums for some of the most famous artist once he ended his successful NFL career. Some of the artists he worked with included BB King and Marvin Gaye. It was clear that Barnes had great talent and as an American Artist, he became known for his unique style of movement and elongation.

One of his most famous painting is The Sack, which depicts the tackle of a quarterback with the crowd in the background and flames blending in with clouds of smoke. Other sports-related painting by Barnes includes Victory in Overtime which displays a hectic situation on the football field after the game is won. Headshot is an exceptionally bright painting depicting an ethnically diverse group of players enjoying a game of soccer while competing for the game.

Ernie Barnes Paintings

Some of his most renowned paintings include the electrifying club scene name, Sugar Shack. The painting offers a view into the club where the poster gives credit to artists like Marvin Gaye and everyone in the club is dancing and enjoying the live performance of the band. The Homecoming painting shows the crowd cheering as a band marches as part of the parade. The crowd is lined up next to the street, on the bridge and some just relaxed on the green grass along the way. Late Night DJ is yet another masterpiece by Ernie Barnes that is based on an African-American DG working late at night. The DB dressed in red speaks into the microphone and have a glass and bottle of wine to enjoy once the music starts.

Omri Amrany Sculpture Immortalizing American Sports Heroes

One of Amrany’s most known sculptures is the one of Michael Jordan celebrating his career from 1984 to 1993 with the Chicago Bulls. Omri and his wife Julie worked together and took well over 150 photographs during the games. They met with Jordan in the Chicago White Sox locker room and spent over eight months working non-stop on the sculpture called The Spirit. The sculpture is made out to bronze, 2,000 pounds, which now attracts thousands of fans and ESPN announced it as one of the greatest sculptures of all times.

Amrany Sculptured Over 165 Sports Heroes

Amrany’s range of sculptures not only feature major sports stars such as Magic Johnson, Jerry West or John Wooden, although he is most famed for the over 165 sports statues he has made up to date. His schedule is packed, and he produced in a 12 month period as many as 45 sports sculptures.

Sculpture of Broadcasting Legend

One of the latest sculptures by the Amrany couple is that of Bob Miller. It honours the contribution of the broadcasting legend. The statue is located at the Staples Centre, and when Miller was asked how he liked it, he said he could never imagine that it could be as perfect and never dreamt of being honoured via a statue.

Amrany Techniques & Studies

For Amrany it all started when he studied marvel techniques and carving in Pietrasanta in Italy, which is also where Michelangelo worked and lived. This is where he met his wife and had his first solo exhibition. Small measures of fame were gained as he created local sports figures and dancers, a group of sports teams form the United States felt his work was the best they ever saw when they attended one of his exhibitions. Which is how his sports hero sculpturing career started.

Itamar Amrany Sculptures

Itamar followed in the footsteps of his mom and dad and attended an art school in London where he earned his master’s degree in science. Apart from assisting his parents in the studio he also entered a statue built competition based on a statue of Johnny Cash to be placed at the Californian Folsom Prison. The competition was won by another artist working at the Amrany Studio and once he won he convinced the city to increase the size of the statue to 50 feet instead of 25 feet. Today it is one of the major tourist attractions and the garden around it offers passers-by the perfect spot to relax, enjoy a picnic or just to listen to music.

Some of the statues by Amrany includes the 18-foot statue of a Riders Football player placed outside the Mosaic Stadium,  the Drumbeat of the Lumberjack Band statue placed at the Packers Heritage Trail Plaza and the Shaquille O’Neal sculpture that features a basketball legend, this sculpture is found at the Staples Centre. 

Bob Marley the Musician to Whom the Epithet “Legend” Truly Applies

Anyone familiar with Bob Marley already knows that the talented musician had a deep passion for one sport in particular and that was soccer.  His love for the game was so great that he would take a soccer ball on all his tours in order to start pickup games. Alan Cole, the soccer star firmly believed that Bob Marley would be one of the most successful soccer players on a professional level if it was not for the love for his music that prevented him from his sports career. The only thing Marley loved more than soccer was his music and he refused to play at a professional level due to his devotion to his music.

Bob Marley – International Icon

There is little doubt that the music of Bob Marley would continue to impress many generations. Marley was born in 1945 on his grandfather’s farm where he grew up with one thing in mind, and that was to create music that would cross cultural divides and borders, he succeeded and became a global phenomenon.

His music made a huge cultural impact even though it was structured within the limitation of reggae, at the time it was a musical genre quite new to the world. Apart from music flowing through his veins his second love was soccer, whether he was in the studio busy recording or on the road, he always had a soccer ball close to his feet.

Photographic Evidence That Bob Marley Was A Soccer Fanatic At Heart

There are hundreds of Bob Marley photographs taken while he was playing on the fields, in parking lots or sometimes even in the recording studios when he had the chance, he had a passion for the game, and it is clear that it was way more than a hobby. Soccer not only played a huge role in the life of Bob Marley and it remains part of his legacy.

As a fan of soccer he supported the Santos Brazilian club and admired Pele, Bob Marley surrounded himself with soccer players and for much of the 1970s Alan Skill Cole was his tour manager. Cole was the former North American Soccer League player for the Atlanta Chiefs. He was chosen by Marley as it added soccer to his daily routines and it was great for the man who was always looking for ways to add soccer to his daily routine.

Bob Marley Raised $51,522 for the Jamaica Football Federation

Cedella, Marley’s oldest daughter was playing for the Jamaican National Women’s soccer team. Supported by the Jamaican Football Federation, the first ever Caribbean team to get the opportunity to compete at the Women’s World Cup lacked funding for both their travelling costs and training. The Indiegogo campaign was super successful, and funding raised for the qualification stages in the tournament of 2015 totalled $51,522. Still, many soccer professionals feel that Marley would have played professional soccer if he made it his focus, although he believed that soccer is what offered him freedom.

When Sports Becomes Art

Sports was never all about winning it has always supported those who are amazing at sports. It is more about the stars that exhibit brilliance. It is about the legacy left behind by those brilliant at chasing the ball, handling the racket with such skill and breaking records.

There is a saying that losers are forgotten, and winners are remembered forever, although it takes a very special individual to create a memory that remains in the memory of sports lovers. It basically takes a sports star that produces a sports moment that qualifies as an artistic masterpiece, stars that take the risk to create unforgettable moments and gives true beauty to the art of sports. There are many sports stars that have achieved this artform, although it is the greats that are remembered for centuries.I

Rodger Federer Brings Style to the Tennis Arena

One of the greats that will be remembered by his art form for many centuries to come is Rodger Federer. He possesses a distinctive style and character that brightens up the tennis arena. As the only player part of the current generation, Federer is the only one to perfectly combines power hitting with a classic tennis style, which no associates the sport as a modern game.

Known for his grace, the Swiss mast is also adorned for his attacking instinct, which ensures he remains unmatched on the court. His remarkable array of shots is certainly unfound in any coaching manual, but again so is his ability to improvise within a split second. His career is scintillating, and at 32 years of age, he had captured no less than 17 Grand Slam titles in singles.

Rodger Federer’s one-handed backhand remains spectacular, even when his best days are something of the past, he is still one of the greats and will always remain the greatest tennis star Wimbledon have seen, while he is the one player anyone who had the pleasure of watching will remember. Are the tennis greats a dying breed or could we approach an era where Federer’s rare talent could be mirrored?

Lionel Messi the Football Wizard

Everyone knows that there is hardly anything as challenging as scoring a goal, well unless you have the talent equal to that of the man who is rightfully called the Argentinian Wizard of Football. Lionel Messi is a young talent that is 5ft7 although he stands tall when it comes to remarkable players.

Winning four consecutive FIFA World Player of the Year Awards is but one of the acknowledgements of his truly rare talent. It might even be called the highlight of his career, but only once you witness this artist glide across the turf, twinkle toe he leads past the opponents and then perform his victory dance, will you know what it means when Messi is called the wizard that possesses unmatched talent.

Ramy Ashour The Man: The Legend that Squashed All Previous Records

Not many might know Ashour, and that is because one is not one of the most popular or most spectator attraction, although when Ramy is playing it becomes the most spectacular sport to watch.  He is a phenomenal shot maker, and he is said to be the man made of elastic due to his impressive, amazing and dynamic movements. Ramy Ashour remains unbeaten for more than 49 games and will remain the guy remembered for his wonderful talents a true champion that mastered the art of squash. 

Edouard Manet’s – Horse Racing at Longchamps

Immortalized by Degas and Manet, the Longchamps racecourse is on the banks of the Seine, which is near the Bois de Boulogne. Even today it is still one of the leading thoroughbred racetracks in the world, and it opened in 1857. Manet was always a keen visitor, and his painting show the thundering horses as a single vignette, clouds of dust are raising as they run almost neck and neck and only a fragile fence are separating the racing horses form the spectators. In Manet’s painting, the race pace is so fast that the turning heads as the crowd follow the race are merging into a blur.

Sudden Increase in Ambitious Painting Devoted to Parisian Life Pleasures

In the 1860s a sudden increase took place in the number of painting devoted to the indulgences of Parisian life, although only a few paintings are as savoury as those the ones by Manet. He introduced offhand elegance, contemporary realism, and the historical self-consciousness that transformed art. Edouard Manet could combine cryptic allusions to art with bold and luscious paint handling, cosmopolitan sophistication and sometimes he added a new kind of directness or even awkward compositions.

During the Second Empire, Horse Racing Enjoyed A Revival

It was during the period 1852 to 1870 that horse racing enjoyed a revival, it was also then that the Longchamp horseracing track was built. Longchamp was constructed on the outskirts of Paris in a park called Bois de Boulogne. Manet started his large, horizontal work in 1863. It would convey the crowd’s bustle and the dynamism of the horse races. The panoramic composition he abandoned, although his smaller variant perfectly retains the essence in a concentrated form.

The Startling Races at Longchamps

The races at Longchamps in pictorial conception is simply startling. The painting shows a cluster of onrushing horses, with the jockeys racing towards the observer. The sense of explosive movement by the horses are heightened by the blurred view of the vertical staring posts on the left and the viewing-stand on the roof.

Manet’s Races at Longchamps painting’s characteristics focus on modern life and the pleasures of it, the scene at the Longchamp racetrack on the outskirts of Paris shows the popularity of the track. The painting signals the revival that took place in French horse racing and reminds of when the racing took place in 1857 for the first time. Manet chooses to capture the last moments, which is also the most exciting minutes of the race, he paints the horses as the rush past the finish.

Traditionally, most artist selects to show racing only from the side. It is not often that anyone dares to compose high-pace action scenes from the side. Manet composed the Racing at Longchamps in such a way that the horses and the jockey’s thunders towards the viewer. The painting medium is oil on canvas and is conserved at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Hieronymus’ The Garden of Earthly Delights

Triptych oil painting or by its modern name known as The Garden of Earthly Delights is as seen by some as a masterpiece by Hieronymus Bosch. It was painted quite late in his life, between the ages of 40 to 60 in the year 1490 to 1510. Since 1939, this painting is housed in Madrid at the Museo del Pardo.


Unknown Intentions & Interpretations


Not much is known now about the life of the artist, his interpretations or even his intention when he painted the fleshy most worldly indulgence, called by some an evocation of sexual joy. The central part of the three-panel painting led to several different interpretations over many centuries, which lasted and continued into the 20th century where art historians remain divided, some see it as a panorama of paradise, other as a moral warning. Art experts such as Beagle says it is an erotic imbalance transforming viewers to a place filled with intoxicated air.


Several Paintings Wrapped into One


The exterior of The Garden of Earthly Delights displays the world the artist existed in during the creation of the artwork itself. When the wings of the triptych are closed, the panels on the outer side are visible and the painting rendered in grey-green can be seen.


Left, Right & Centre Panels


Expert of art proposed that the outer panels were used by Bosch to originally establish the biblical setting for that of the inner elements and that the outer images were painted first. Known as the Joining of Adam and Eve the left panel’s scene is that of the Garden of Eden. The painting allows viewers to gain insight into how the painter sees Adam as he wakes up and finds Eve’s wrist in the hand of God. In this panel, the appearance of God is in a younger form as the others.


The centre panel consists of a fusion of different scenes and images, these include a water-bound globe adorned by figures that are hybrid or fantastic while the garden gives this painting its name. Female and male nudes are present in the garden where fruit trees suggest it is paradise. The figures in the painting are engaged in all kinds of activities including sports, group and couple activities with sexual curiosity. While some artist sees the centre panel as the playground of corruption other calls it the centre of eroticism.


In the middle-ages, lust and sexuality were seen as the indication of the fall from grace of humanity, the left panel is where it starts, the middle shows the penalty. In many paintings, erotic connotations are depicted as musical instruments, especially in the time period of the art of Bosch, which was also when the moralising sources such as lust where often called the music of the flesh.


Triptychs painted by Bosch includes the Saint Gregory’s Mass, Adoration of the Magic, The Creation of the World, The Last Judgement, and Hermit Saints Triptych.

Cinema Nouveau Art House Movies


Over the past couple of years Cinema Nouveau, art-house films, as well as independent and foreign films, have enjoyed a huge increase in popularity. More film enthusiasts are interested in the fresh ideas of the directors and thousands believe that the art nouveau films are superior to Hollywood films. The film style is named after Maison de I’Art Nouveau meaning the House of the New Art and in Belgium termed Styles Nouille, while in Italy called Arte Nova and in the USA Tiffany Style. Art Cinema Nouveau is a term used for the screen deco celebrating high styles that reminds of a time when the Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire’s foxtrot was popular, high details were most important design was king. The same attention to details is used in modern day art nouveau films and some of the best films include Elle, Fireworks Wednesday and Loveless.

Elle

Meet Michele who seems simply indestructible and as the head of a video game company she is successful and at the same time ruthless when it comes to her love life. Her life changes forever after being attacked in her home. After determinedly tracking down the man, both are drawn into a thrilling and curious game that might spiral completely out of control at any given moment.

Elle Ratings & Genre

The film received an R rating for disturbing sexual content, language, brief nudity, violence involving sexual assault and grisly images. The film genre is art house drama, suspense and drama and was directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by David Birke and the 130-minute film by SBS Production Studio made $2,339,735 at the box office.

Chaharshancbe-Soori or Fireworks Wednesday

Directed by Asghar Farhadi an Iranian director, Fireworks Wednesday enables the audience to follow a betrothed female working for the housekeeping agency. She accepts an assignment that requires the cleaning of the home of a couple on vacation and as the newcomer in the household gets sucked into a dangerous nuptial of treachery and deceit that challenges all her superstitions regarding the nature of married life. Depth is added by Farhadi via the cloaking of the household events and the precipitants constantly shifting between ambiguity and character perspective. With added complexity, the director constantly challenges each viewer and rewrites the audience’s assumptions of each of the characters. The title of the film refers to explosiveness in domestic strife in a metaphoric sense, while it has literal significance.

Fireworks Wednesday Ratings & Genre

The film received an NR rating and its genre is International Art House and drama, while the Grasshopper Film is 104 minutes long and well-received by the audience.
Nelyubov or Loveless

Boris and Zhenya go through a frustrating time caused by a vicious divorce and as they embark on new lives each of them finds a new partner that threatens the abandonment of their twelve-year-old son.

Loveless Rating and Genre

Loveless received an R rating for graphic nudity, disturbing images and its strong sexuality, while the genre is international, drama and art house directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. The Sony Pictures Classic is 129 minutes long and made $220,691 at the box office.