Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
Eat, sleep, dream football, they used to say. But against a backdrop of museum openings, freak floods, strikes, rioting and the very real possibility of Britain leaving the EU, it’s a wonder anyone at all is paying close attention to the Euro 2016 football tournament.
Perhaps in fear of being sent to current affairs Coventry, football website and TV show ESPN FC has commissioned French artist Florian Nicolle to create a series of images celebrating the 24 national teams competing for the championship.
The result is a series of expressive posters depicting famous players from the sides in question, along with a phrase at the bottom that pairs the phrase ‘more than…’ with a supposedly characteristic national attribute or a trait relating to a star from each team.
Thus, the Germans get ‘More than eine Maschine’, Ireland ‘More than green’ and the host nation France an egalitarian ‘More than fraternité’. Alas, somewhere along the line, Nicolle seems to have run out of stereotyping abstract nouns, with Iceland served a faintly withering ‘More than an island’.
As for the Rake’s chosen side, England, the slogan reads ‘More than pride.’ Russia, who drew with the English on Saturday night, are lumped with ‘More than a revival’. But with the fixture dominated by clashes in Marseille between fans of the two teams, the only ‘revival’ either team can claim to have inspired thus far is for old-fashioned football hooliganism.