UK Artist’s Selfie as the World Cup Trophy Goes Viral

Emma Allen, World Cup Selfie (2014). Courtesy the artist.

London-based artist Emma Allen specializes in extremely convincing body painting, and in observance of the current soccer World Cup she recently posted a selfie of her head and arms made up in gold paint to resemble the trophy that will be hoisted by the winning team on July 13 in Rio de Janeiro. To the surprise of nobody, the combination of keywords “World Cup” and “selfie” were sufficient to launch the image to viral status, racking up more the 500,000 clicks and spawning coverage from countless British media outlets, and at least one art news outlet, plus a tweet from that overseer of all things viral, BuzzFeed.

“The hardest thing was getting my arms and hands in the right position. I took a lot of pictures before settling on the final one,” Allen told the London Evening Standard. “I just had a good feeling it would work. I’m not the biggest football fan, I just wanted to give it a go.”

It took her about two-and-a-half hours to create the impressive likeness, with her head serving as the globe atop the trophy and her arms taking the place of the jubilant player that makes up the trophy’s midsection. Allen completed the piece by painting green bands around her forearms, to match those at the base of the trophy.

“The World Cup trophy is such an iconic symbol around the world so I wanted to try and see if I could represent it in a face paint,” she said. “It’s been interesting to see all the different interpretations of the picture.”

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics