Did you know the Olympics used to give out medals for artistic endeavours, alongside athletic competitions? In an article written for the Smithsonian magazine, Joseph Stromberg explains that the Founder of the modern Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, saw true Olympians as well-rounded individuals, who were able to write a sonnet just as well as they could hurl a shotput: athletic prowess and artistic sensibilities should be held in equal regard.
Here at Art UK we want to honour the Baron by staging the Art UK Olympics on Twitter (you can follow us on Twitter @artukdotorg), to coincide with the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio this summer. Art has the power to convey emotions and illustrate the human experience. By hosting the #ArtUKOlympics from 5th August to 18th September, our aim will be to get people looking closely at artworks they may be familiar with, or art they have never come across before.
How will #ArtUKOlympics work?
There will be six games, in which there will each be four paintings. These artworks will compete to be the most romantic, sad, joyous, scary, calming and empowering. Between 5th August and 18th September, Art UK will post six Twitter polls. Art UK will ask Twitter, which painting in the poll is the most successful at conveying a particular emotion? Competing artworks will be added to this blog post below, and posted on Twitter during each game.
How do I win a prize?
Look out for our #ArtUKOlympics tweets, and take the time to look at the artworks we post before you vote in the poll. To be in for a chance of winning a prize, however, you must tweet a response @artukdotorg to one of the artworks competing. For example, tell us which detail of the painting charms you, makes you feel uncomfortable, nostalgic or happy? Why do you like a painting, or why don’t you like a painting? You can tell us in a tweet, or even post a photo or video. Great responses will be retweeted – and our favourites will be awarded prizes.
- Gold award: The choice between one of two brilliant new books from Phaidon: either Brazil, an overview of contemporary culture, or JR: Can Art Change the World?, the first major monograph on JR, the enigmatic Parisian artist making another Inside Out piece for Rio this summer
- Silver award: The remaining book (either Brazil or JR: Can Art Change the World?)
- Bronze award: One Oil Paintings in Public Ownership catalogue from the Art UK Shop (subject to availability)
Let the games begin!
Jade King, Art UK
Art UK Olympic Games
Romantic artworks – Friday 5th August
Which of these paintings best captures romance, either an as ideal or as the representation of love between two people?
Sad artworks – Friday 12th August
Do these artworks inspire melancholy or longing? What is it about them that conveys sadness: the expressions, or story behind the artwork?
Happy artworks – Friday 19th August
Joy, fun and laughter are represented in these paintings. Which makes you happy, and why?
Scary artworks – Friday 26th August
Either hellish or gory, these frightening artworks evoke fears and nightmares. How do they do it? What aspect of the paintings chill you?
Calming artworks –Monday 5th September
Relaxing, mellow or still and calm: which of these paintings are the most peaceful and soothing?
Empowering artworks – Monday 12th September
Inspiring people in history, Olympian pride, proud monarchs and brave defiance: paintings can empower people, or be used to show power. Which painting speaks to you, and why?