Twelve Artists have been selected by the organizers of the 2012 Olympics to design the official posters. The list reads like a who’s who of A- Lister names from the London art scene. Tracey Emin, Bridget Riley ,Michael Craig -Martin and Bob and Roberta Smith plus Turner Prize winners Howard Hodgkin, Martin Creed, Chris Ofili and Rachel Whiteread. are among the artists selected to submit original artworks. The honour was announced yesterday and will be followed up by a free exhibition at Tate Britain. Throughout the history of the games, the Olympic posters have provided a unique visual record evoking everything from time, geography and style. Olympic posters are considered one of the major vehicle to spread information on the Olympic movement and convey the Olympic spirit .They are following in an Olympic tradition which has seen artists such as David Hockney, Alan Jones, Andy Warhol and RB Kitaj commissioned to create an Olympic or Paralympic poster.
The artists selected will take on the commissions for both the Olympics and the Paralympics. They were selected from a longlist of more than 100 artists who were asked to produce a poster in their own unique styles. The guide-lines were only ” that they should think about London and either the Olympics or Paralympics. London’s 2012 chairman Lord Sebastian Coe said: “This shows the creative talent the UK has.”Cultural Olympiad director Ruth Mackenzie announced the “very distinguished group” of 2012 artists to coincide with the one-year countdown to the start of the London 2012 Cultural Festival – the 12-week finale to the Cultural Olympiad. The nominated artists were chosen from a list of some 100, but organisers would not disclose how they came to their final decision. Asked why Damien Hirst had not made the list, for example, Ruth Mackenzie, director of the Cultural Olympiad, replied: “I think the answer is, we’re not going to go there.”Emin told reporters at an event at Tate Britain gallery, held exactly a year before the London 2012 Festival event gets underway, that she wanted her poster to be a celebration of life in the city.”(I want to) show the world that London can really throw a party and that was what it was like with the royal wedding,” she said, referring to the recent marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton that attracted a huge global television audience.”In times of depression, what came across as really, really cool was the arts. Arts and culture is the soul of the country,” she added. “I’m interested in the party scene, the celebration.”
In the past he range of style for the poster designs is as interesting as the historical and graphic design context. The Olympic posters are a visual representation of the Olympic ideas and the host country’s culture and spirit. From 1896 to 2008, different cities have hosted the Summer Olympiads (three were missed due to war). Each host city has created its own unique promotional poster, the design of which often reflected the prevailing cultural and artistic tone of the period. Browse through the gallery and enjoy a part of the Olympic history.
Here is the full list of commissioned artists:
Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Tracey Emin, Anthea Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Chris Ofili, Bridget Riley, Bob and Roberta Smith, Rachel Whiteread