Oof journal launches a gallery celebrating the artwork of soccer

Situated on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium grounds, the new football-themed arts space launches with an aptly-titled inaugural exhibition, Balls

Kipple #2: Mitre Delta, Nike Cortez, 2021 by Dominic Watson. All installation images by Tom Carter, © Oof Gallery

Oof originally launched as a biannual magazine exploring the intersection between art and football, and in recent years has hosted a number of pop-up exhibitions around London involving creatives such as Juno Calypso and Emma Cousin.

Now, the platform has its first permanent home, located on the grounds of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London. To kick off proceedings, Oof is running an exhibition, playfully titled Balls, which features works by 17 artists. Among them are Sarah Lucas, Hank Willis Thomas and Jazz Grant, who have each transformed footballs into sculptural pieces.

A Playground of Bubbleheads, 2020-21 by Paul Deller
Pre-Match Ritual and Team Building Exercise, 2021 by Rosie Gibbens

“Each artist has sabotaged the essential function of the humble football and spun it into something spectacular, something totally unrelated to the game,” says co-curator Justin Hammond. “These sculptures span the past 20 years and are monuments to personal and political histories, childhood dreams and overwhelming desires.”

The relationship between football and creativity is coming increasingly to the fore as the game itself transforms, and the launch of Oof Gallery only underlines this. For some, the works on display will feel too far removed from the game, however the space is designed to offer football fans an unpretentious entry point into contemporary art, a world all-too-often shrouded in exclusivity.

Canary in a Coal Mine, 2021 by Jazz Grant
Endless Column III, 2017 by Hank Willis Thomas
Victoria, 2008 by Marcus Harvey
Obverse and Reverse XXXI, 2017 by Dario Escobar

Balls is at Oof Gallery, London until November 21; oofmagazine.com/oof-gallery


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