For centuries art and sport have been considered the polar opposites. But over the past 50 years or more, sports brands have begun to merge the two to create fashionable and artistic pieces of apparel and footwear. Nike even launched a campaign claiming that “sport is art” in 2011.
Now a basketball court has been designed that showcases a beautiful fusion of the two disciplines, and it’s causing quite the stir.
The basketball court in question was designed and painted by French design and photography agency Ill-Studio and fashion brand Pigalle—with support from Nike. It’s in the centre of Paris, squeezed in between buildings in a suburb on Rue Duperré.
The new design was revealed on Instagram and showcases the court painted in graduated hues of fuschia, dark blue, canary yellow and burnt orange.
A place for young people
According to Playtop, “the Duperré playground is the only place in the area where young people can play sports for free”. Pigalle says in the post: “From us to the youth”, highlighting its commitment to supporting the young people of Paris. As when local residents first complained about the noise in the area and the court was threatened with closure, Pigalle founder Stephane Ashpool stepped in to save the court and secured funds to keep it open.
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"The anatomy of the human body as well as it's performances have had a lifelong relationship with art. Since the legacy of Greek and Roman antiquity, sport is represented as a dominant idea within the beauty of an era. This never-ending quest for modernity has forged a strong bond between functionality and aesthetics over the decades. Through this new court, we wish to explore the relationship between sport, art and culture and its emergence as a powerful socio-cultural indicator of a period in time. We aim to establish visual parallels between the past, present and future of modernism from the « Avant Garde » era of the beginning of the 20th century, to the « Open Source » times we live in today, and our interpretation of the future aesthetics of Basketball and sport in general." Ill-Studio & Pigalle.
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#TensFinds ~ Sandwiched between two apartment buildings just off Rue Duperré, Paris. French fashion brand Pigalle teamed up with Parisian agency ILL-STUDIO to give the court site a vibrant makeover. The walls feature hot gradients and hues of fuchsia, dark blue, canary yellow and burnt orange. Photo by @alexpenfornis
This isn’t the first time the court has been decorated either. In 2009, Ashpool joined forces with Nike to design the court and they’ve been repainting it ever since. In 2015 they painted the court in a way that looked inspired by Piet Mondrian’s Composition paintings.
While the court’s design has received a huge amount of praise some have criticised its appearance, suggesting it’s “not appropriate for the surrounding architecture”. While it definitely draws your eye away from the surrounding buildings, is this necessarily a bad thing?
It’s a creative, safe and fun space for Paris’ youths, and we think it’s pretty darn cool!
Featured image: Pigalle/Instagram