The Olympic artists of Park West Gallery

When art and sport come together, awe-inspiring imagery and experiences are born. There is no better example of this than when world-class artists are chosen to create artwork for the Olympic Games.

In celebration of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil, we invite you to discover which artists with Park West Gallery have stepped onto the world’s stage to become Olympic artists.

 

Peter Max

peter max olympic artist

“Olympic Torch” (1979), Peter Max

Among the many accomplishments of pop artist Peter Max’s long-standing career are two that center on the Winter Olympics.

In 2002, Max unveiled a giant mural in Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympics featuring artwork collected from youth across the United States. The artwork was featured on a commemorative poster, and proceeds benefited the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

“Through this Olympic mural, I am able to share the inspiration and creativity of children across the country with the people of Salt Lake City and athletes and visitors from around the world,” Max said in a written statement.

His second brush with the Olympics came in 2006 when Max was named the official artist of the U.S. Olympic Team for the Winter Olympics held in Turin, Italy. He created a commemorative poster that features colorful, cosmic characters competing in downhill skiing.

 

Romero Britto

Romero Britto

“I Love This Land” (2014), Romero Britto

Romero Britto is the latest addition to the illustrious club of Park West artists who have created art for the Olympics. Britto was chosen to be Brazil’s ambassador for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, and also partnered with Coca-Cola to create limited-edition bottles, artwork and pins to celebrate the Olympics in Brazil.

In addition to the artwork, Coca-Cola nominated Britto to carry the Olympic torch through his hometown of Recife.

“As a Brazilian it is a wonderful feeling to be nominated as a Rio 2016 Olympic Torchbearer in my country. It’s a unique opportunity and I want to help promote it and show that art also spreads happiness through its essence and its colors,” says Britto.

 

Charles Fazzino

Charles Fazzino

“Bumper to Bumper in the Big Apple” (2016), Charles Fazzino

Park West Gallery is pleased to work with Charles Fazzino, who creates eye-popping works by layering cutouts of his images atop one another.  His three-dimensional style has been tapped in order to tell the story of major events, such as Major League Baseball All-star Games, Grammy Awards and Super Bowls. This includes creating intricate and colorful works based on the Olympic Games, including limited-edition pins for NBC commemorating the winter and summer games of the past four years.

 

Simon Bull

Simon Bull Olympic artist

American Heart” (2014), Simon Bull

Simon Bull was selected alongside Thomas Kinkade to commemorate the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Regarding the event, then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani commented that Bull was “one of the most popular and collected living artists of our time” in a written statement.

This isn’t Bull’s only connection to the Olympics. In 2012, Bull painted a portrait of Olympic 10,000-meter gold medalist Mohamed “Mo” Farah on behalf of the Mo Farah Foundation. Bull also had the honor of working with another Olympian, boxing legend Muhammad Ali, in 2004 on a limited series of paintings. Ali competed in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, then known as Cassius Clay.

 

Sam Park

Sam Park Olympic artist

“Sur La Mer” (2013), Sam Park

Sam Park’s New Impressionism style was on full display during the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Park returned to his home country of Korea in 1984 to participate in a national, Olympic-inspired art competition for the 1988 Summer Olympics. Among the 2,000-plus entrants, Park won and received a Gold Medal. The painting Park created for the competition was subsequently purchased by the Hyundai Corporation for permanent display in its headquarters.

 

Alexander Chen

 

Alexander Chen Olympic artist

“Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics” (2008), Alexander Chen

Known for his hyper-realism, Alexander Chen caught the eye of not only the U.S. Olympic Committee, but the Beijing Olympic Committee. Chen created originals for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing for the U.S. Olympics team and later for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

“I went back to Beijing and I took more than 1,000 photos, then I come home and organized it and chose the best angle [so that it] shows a lot of different things,” Chen said of creating his 2008 Olympics art.

Chen, who was born in China and moved to the U.S., has the honor of being the only artist to have been sanctioned by both the Beijing and U.S. Olympic Committees.

 

Alex Gockel

Alex Gockel Olympic Artist

USOC Olympic Celebration (Small)” (2005), Alex Gockel

Alfred “Alex” Gockel likes to touch the viewer’s soul with his vibrant colors, and this effect, combined with his energetic style, made him a perfect choice for the U.S. Olympic Committee, who asked him to create official artwork for the 2006 Winter Olympics. The artwork (available through Park West) is inspired by high-speed winter sports such as hockey, bobsled and downhill skiing, appropriate subjects for this “action painter.”

“Because of my strong use of color, people get a positive feeling about my work,” he once said. “It’s fun and exciting. There is a degree of energy in my brushwork that people can relate to. I like to think of it as work that will recharge your mind every day.”

 

LeRoy Neiman

LeRoy Neiman Olympic artist

“Olympic Ring” (1976), LeRoy Neiman

Painter and sketcher LeRoy Neiman was known for his ability to capture kinetic energy and action in his paintings. He covered five Olympiads, starting with the 1960 Winter Games in Squaw Valley, followed by the 1972 games in Munich, Montreal in 1976, Lake Placid in 1980 and Sarajevo in 1984.

The majority of Neiman’s works covers sporting events, whether Olympics, Super Bowls, boxing matches or horse races, but also portraits of celebrities, performers and athletes. Neiman is also known for contributing to the very first issue of “Playboy” magazine.

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest Comments

Latest News

  • Museum Discovers Drawing is Actually by Rembrandt

    A chalk drawing credited to a German painter for more than two centuries has been identified as a work by Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn.For the past 250 years, the ...
    Read More
  • Park West Gallery Artist Csaba Markus Unveils Caldographs

    For the first 15 years of his career, Csaba Markus didn’t sign his art because he was unsure of its quality.Today, Markus’ signature is the ...
    Read More
  • How NYC Became the Art Capital of the U.S.

    February 1913 marked a defining moment in the history of art. While the turn of the century empowered the aesthetic twists and turns of the European avant-garde in their countries ...
    Read More
  • West Meets East

    How Japan Inspired a Western Art Movement Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh viewed Japan as a paradise where everyone loved art, and wished to replicate this ideal in the south of ...
    Read More
  • Fall in Love With Valentine’s Day Artwork

    From romantic portrayals of couples to emotionally expressive artwork, art has always been an expression of love. This Valentine’s Day, celebrate your special someone with these romantic works of art ...
    Read More
  • Autumn de Forest Talks Art on WJLA-TV

    Art prodigy Autumn de Forest took time out of her busy schedule of painting, philanthropy and yes, homework, to speak with ABC7 in Washington, D.C. about art education and her ...
    Read More
  • 6th Annual Big Band Bash Raises $12,000 for Charity

    Park West Gallery and the Park West Foundation supported one of America’s greatest art forms during the 6th Annual Big Band Bash gala on February 12 at Amelia Island, Florida.The ...
    Read More
  • 4 Reasons Art is a Better Valentine’s Gift Than Flowers

    Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to treat your significant other with a thoughtful gift. While many stick with flowers and chocolates to express their love, there are several compelling ...
    Read More
  • Decoding Michael Cheval’s Tribute to Modern Artists

    In Michael Cheval’s “Lullaby of Uncle Magritte,” viewers are faced with shape-filled landscapes, odd trinkets and a man who looks to be made out of cheese. It begs the question: ...
    Read More
  • Craig Tracy Brings Body Painting Expertise to “Skin Wars”

    Artist Craig Tracy is an icon of the body painting movement, having won and judged international competitions in the body painting world.When Game Show Network (GSN) ordered a ...
    Read More
  • 6th Annual Big Band Bash Promises Vibrant Art and Music

    What do you get when you cross good food, live music, dancing and Park West Gallery art? One of the best Valentine’s Day dates ever.The 6th Annual Big Band ...
    Read More
  • Fashion, Books and Tunes: How Artists Seek Inspiration

    In the mid-20th century, American art critic Clement Greenberg governed the standards of the art world with one audacious idea: Art should refer only to itself – not history, not ...
    Read More