Date of Award


Document Type

MA Project - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Project Type

MA Project - Curatorial Proposal

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Betsy Thomas

Second Advisor

Morgan Falconer


Sport Art: Athletics in Contemporary Art, is the working title for this curatorial proposal—expected to be presented at Cristin Tierney Gallery in the summer of 2024. This group show will serve to contribute and exhibit responses by contemporary artists who address the multi-layered social and cultural themes of sport within their work, while also referencing the impact of sport on their own identities. Hoping to coincide with the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics—following both the UEFA Euro 2024 and the 2024 Copa América competitions—the exhibition also intends to commemorate and celebrate the spectacle of sports, as a performance and activity, but most importantly, as an art form in and of itself. By nature, we tend to think of sport and art as two very different mediums of expression. Although both involve great skill and mental demand, either by the artist or athlete, their efforts will ultimately be spectated and observed by generally dissimilar audiences. Sport and art can also serve as a language to their respective contemplators, whether that be by transmitting emotions or a sense of inspiration, or merely functioning as a distraction from the outside world. Although both are often simple in their approach, we tend to overlook much of the historic social and cultural density present in both practices, as well as the nostalgic sentiment that comes with it. Sport, similarly to art, has become a powerful way to challenge social norms and opinions in recent history. Knowing the substantiality of their audiences, athletes have started using their platform as a means to demand change and/or test those in power. While these movements can be overlooked on a large scale, the athletes still actively choose to stay true to their personal values, intending to transmit those opinions—and often, frustrations—to the general public. Comparable to historical, socially engaged works of art—like Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, or Barbara Kruger’s We don't need another hero1 —these athletes’ presentations can also be interpreted as modern-day “revolutions,” of sorts. The works presented in Sport Art are not all necessarily politically or socially charged, although some are. Instead, most artists conceptually explore ideas and themes of sport that are closest to their identity and individuality. Considering Cristin Tierney Gallery’s long-time devotion to emerging (particularly conceptual) artists, the gallery acts as an ideal venue for this exhibition. Artists include Mattia Guarnera-MacCarthy, Peter Jeppson, Joao Joan (Joan Franco Mateo Cárcamo Pérez), Lauren Krasnoff, Adrian Mangel, Gabriel Rozzell, Tasneem Sarkez, and John Wood and Paul Harrison. Four of these artists are local to New York City; three are based in London, UK; one is in Stockholm, Sweden, and another is based in Santiago, Chile; they are a combination of emerging and mid-career contemporary artists. Through varying media (mostly painting), each artist presents their unique take on sports while remaining true to their own artistic style—whether that be social realism, figurativism, pop or comic art, impressionism, among others. Although the subjects and themes within their overall works vary and aren’t always exclusively sport-related, the works presented in Sport Art highlight facets of sport that are, or once were, significant to each artist. These aspects can range from the significance of pop culture icons or role models in sport, to lifestyle (particularly fashion and clothing), to collectables, to heavier subjects like social classism, many of which correspond to conceptual themes of nostalgia or sentimentality. All nine artists use the spectacle of athletics as conduits for theatrical performativity, voyeurism, and examining the artful physicality of sport.