'Nadal vs. Federer, Wimbledon 2008', 2022 Hand-embellished Limited Edition Print
What began as a tool to process, South African artist Shaun Ellison’s relationship to the sport of tennis has grown into a vibrant, evocative practice that captures the spontaneity and frailty of groups, success and failure in sport. Based in Brooklyn, New York, the artist brings unity to many of the inherent contradictions of tennis and its history, and uses color, expressive composition, and unexpected figures and motifs to touch on the diversity, rigor and growth of the sport and its cultural legacy. Ellison studied at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, School of Visual Arts and NY Studio School. While at Louisiana Lafayette, the artist played for the school’s Division 1 tennis team before competing professionally on the ATP Tour. Recent exhibitions include Hit & Miss at Taymour Grahne Projects (London, UK).
Nadal vs. Federer, Wimbledon 2008 memorializes what is widely considered one of the greatest matches of all time, a 4 hour and 48 minute battle royale between the world’s top two players. A fundamental intensity undercuts the vibrant composition sprinkled with whimsical details like bouquets in the middle of the court or a leopard print baseline. In this era-defining match, Ellison turns his eye to the stands, where the players’ entourages typically occupy cordoned corner boxes, surrounded on all sides by an animated cast of characters and creatures alike. During these landmark matches, tennis can feel like life or death even for those off the court who sacrificed endlessly in hopes that their player may reach this moment—one that will come to be defined by loss for Federer. The duality of Ellison’s style and subject matter memorializes this ironic nuance, drawing the comic and beautiful out of the tragic. The artist has hand-embellished the edition with acrylic details in the border, making each piece a unique work.
Nadal vs. Federer, Wimbledon 2008, 2022
23 x 20 inches
Archival pigment print
Edition of 15 + 5APs + 1PP
Hand-embellished, signed and numbered by the artist
“I am deeply concerned about our planet, and I know that planting trees will help contribute to slowing down the effects of climate change,” says Ellison on the collaboration. “I have tried to recycle things I have around me and also used waste as part of my practice. I hope to keep bringing awareness to the effects of climate change through my work, and contributing toward improvements whenever I can.”
ART FOR CHANGE will plant ten trees for each print sold, in support of global reforestation efforts. As in all series, artists will receive 50% of the net proceeds of print sales.