The intersection of art, tennis, and philanthropy is fully on display at the inaugural Kings County Tennis League Benefit Auction. Featuring artwork by Eddie Martinez, Daniel Gordon, Mairikke Dau, Ryan Travis Christian, and 14 others, the tennis-themed auction supports the Kings County Tennis League, a program that “combines tennis and education to spark the potential of children living in and around public housing, in Brooklyn, NY.” Coinciding with the US Open in Flushing, Queens, the auction closes bidding on September 12th, 2022.
In 1979, Charles M. Schulz—an avid tennis player, himself—published the book SNOOPY ON TENNIS. Included in the compilation of SNOOPY comic strips was a series of color panels featuring SNOOPY AT WIMBLEDON. No stranger to the game, SNOOPY’s trip also came to life in animation during the 1980 film, Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown.
There are few sports left that are undeniably popular yet underrepresented in the media realm. One of these is volleyball, a recurring subject in the work of California-based artist Jansson Stegner. Expressive and exaggerated, Stegner paints power into the players he portrays. Whether represented on court or in the locker room, these volleyballers with their elongated torsos, strong limbs, and confident gazes are ready to leap off the canvas and spike on you. It is with these playful works that Stegner delivers an ace for the art world.
In 2016, Julian Assange gave Ai Weiwei a treadmill that he had used while taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Now, Ai Weiwei has turned the stationary exercise machine into a call for action to defend the freedom of the press and human rights in a social media campaign, Run For Our Rights. For the movement, the artist is asking supporters to post videos of themselves on a treadmill—or even running in place—to their social channels with the hashtag #RunForOurRights, to bring awareness to the cause. When asked about why he chose a treadmill, Weiwei stated “because it represented an inability to move forward, even when running.”
We first met Los Angeles-based photographer Radka Leitmeritz a few years back at The Courts while she was on a commercial shoot. Bursting with energy and always with a camera nearby, we were drawn into Radka’s world and have never really left. With a background in fashion and passion for tennis, Radka’s latest project with Porsche, Court Supremes, celebrates the power of the women who play the game. We recently caught up with Radka to talk about the project and the inspiration behind it.
Created in 2008, Line Drive is a portfolio of lithographs published by Hamilton Press featuring artists Terry Allen, John Baldessari, Greg Colson, Robbie Conal, Gajin Fujita, Victor Gastelum, Joe Goode, Kitaj, Mark Licari, Paul McCarthy, Michael C. McMillen, and Raymond Pettibon. The cover by Ed Ruscha (above) is particularly great.
Photos & Words by Anthony Pappalardo
Brian Lotti is a Brooklyn, New York-based painter. Like many denizens entrenched in the ‘80s/’90s skateboarding culture, certain brands and skaters grew to symbolize more than tricks or accomplishments; they became important timestamps and jumping-off points for creativity. This was my introduction to Lotti’s form of expression, not just in skateboarding but the precision and freedom he exuded—equally progressive and expressive. Street skating in the early-’90s was a renaissance but not only in tricks, it was a change of aesthetics and presentation that birthed many creatives.
Unlike many of his peers, Lotti’s personal evolution sprawled past the streets and industry and into universities and even Buddhist monasteries. He stepped out of skating around 1993 to pursue other creative endeavors but sharing a through-line of feeling. As a painter and filmmaker, he’s able to animate the mundane and underappreciated much like he did on curbs, ledges, and schoolyards but it’s never literal or obvious.
I’d liken his work to the snapshots that exist in our minds of everyday moments that somehow stick in the backs of our brains vividly. Unlike memory which often proves to be more false than true and more romantic than palpable, his work evokes feeling through process, intuition, and individuality.
After a brief visit to his Brooklyn studio, we chopped it up about painting and I quickly learned how little I knew about the visual renaissance he’s entrenched and thriving in.
Beginning with Valerio Adami in 1980, the French Tennis Federation and the French Open Tournament Committee have been commissioning contemporary artists to create the annual poster for the Roland-Garros tournament. With play beginning in Paris this week, we look back at some of the stand-out works from the past 40 years.
As a culture, for generations, we’ve been presented with signs full of messages and slogans for inspiration. From ads on billboards to office walls, there has always been a motive to sell a better self. Between 1923 and 1929, Mather & Co. of Chicago created and distributed some of the first employee-motivational posters to companies across the United States. These eye-catching pieces of art glamorized discipline and gave workers the incentive to stay the course to achieve success. Over 350 posters were made over the course of the run, with many of them relaying values through the narrative of sports. Here we feature some of our favorites that help guide our own principles.