World Cup Inspires Show of Street Art Soccer Balls

Itapipoca by artist EDU.
Photo: Courtesy Energia Pra Torcer

There has been no shortage of vibrant art inspired by the ongoing 2014 FIFA World Cup taking place in cities throughout Brazil right now. Twins Os Gêmeos tagged up the Brazilian national team’s jet with their signature styles and graphic artist Cristiano Siqueiria, who goes by the name Crisvector, was commissioned by ESPN to create a series of 32 posters depicting each of the national teams. Given the country’s well publicized social and economic problems, not all of the related soccer art has been celebratory in nature.

But one of the more prominent street art projects garnering attention of late, Energia Pra Torcer or “Energy to Cheer,” aims to explore the cultural vibrancy of the various host cities by focusing on the positive, says artist and curator Marcello Ment. The project involves 20 graffiti artists customizing giant rotating footballs that will be shipped to cities throughout the country. “They try to get some elements of those cities. Some cultural elements or some nature elements. And for sure use some vibrant colors,” Ment told CNN of the various painted football sculptures, while working in Niteroi in central Brazil.

While the project  aims to merge the country’s passion for soccer with grassroots street art, it does not completely shy away from more troublesome issues like the exorbitant ticket prices that put World Cup attendance far beyond the budget of the average Brazilian. Ment told CNN: “We have a horrible system of politics. People think it is normal to steal and to make advantages for themselves. And that’s not normal, you know.”

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