Sergio García Sánchez’s “Pulling Ahead”

Sergio García Sánchez’s cover for the March 20, 2023 issue is a celebration of the basketball season. To the surprise of many fans, the Knicks are doing well and appear ready for the playoffs. Basketball, one of the few major sports played indoors, takes place here in Madison Square Garden — an enduring, if somewhat architecturally intrusive, New York landmark. I spoke to the artist about his interest in sports and some of his upcoming projects.

They live outside of Granada, Spain. Do you attend live sporting events?

In Granada, the city has two teams with live events: soccer (the most popular sport in Spain) and basketball. But I don’t usually go to the stadiums: I’m a fan of Real Madrid, the Spanish football team, and my friends and I watch the Champions League games on TV.

You seem very interested in capturing movement in your still images. Are you inspired by cubist paintings or other types of two-dimensional representations of movement in space?

Yes, I’m very interested in the artistic avant-garde of the early 20th century. When I was working on a piece about the war for the Musée National Picasso-Paris, I studied Picasso’s work closely. I’m also fascinated by how the Futurists capture movement and by the work of contemporary artists who work with kinetic art, such as Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez.

Did you enjoy playing sports as a child and do you still do it today?

Sure – as a child I was on my school’s track and field team and competed in the hundred-meter sprint and long jump. I also belonged to the handball team, where I played as a winger, but I spent most of my time on the bench. I don’t do any organized sport these days, but I love hiking in the mountains where we live and running when traveling through the cities (which should be considered an Olympic sport).

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For many of your projects, including this cover, you draw in black and white and ask artist Lola Moral, your wife, to bring it to life in color. Discuss the color scheme in advance?

Lola Moral is one of the best colorists I know and is a fundamental pillar of my creative practice. We study the visual documentation together and decide what is the best option in each case. We’ve been working together for so long we almost don’t need to talk. In general, I understand artistic creation as a collaborative endeavor in which many actors are involved. Alongside Lola’s work, the role of the art directors is fundamental – they are very directly involved in the end result of the play.

They are making public art for a new Paris Métro station designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. How can you ensure that your visual storytelling is understood across cultures?

The project is part of the development of new Paris Métro lines on the outskirts of the city. I’ve done an artistic residency in the suburb of Saint-Denis, right next to the Stade de France, a large soccer stadium where one of the new train stations and the art panels will be. In this residency we explored what we can do to reach out to the very diverse residents of the area – not just those of the past and present, but also those of the future. So it will all be visual communication; We develop large format images without text. There will be eleven panels, each more than five hundred square meters, and each dedicated to a specific theme, such as a street in Saint-Denis, hip-hop, the basilica, graffiti or the 2024 Olympic Games.

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They have also begun a series of portraits by non-existent artists. What was the inspiration behind it?

My idea was to treat one of the classic themes of art history, the portrait, from a new angle by portraying a person who doesn’t exist. But of course it’s also a nod to the time when artists depicted the lives of classical deities. The first is Lilith, and twenty more will follow.

Courtesy of Sergio García Sánchez and Galería Cayón.

Check out more basketball themed covers below:

Find covers, cartoons and more by Sergio García Sánchez at the Condé Nast Store.

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