French artist and illustrator SLip puts football centre frame for an inventive online photomontage gallery.
From Lyon, and a supporter of Saint Etienne, stylish artist SLip is credited with taking: “a funny, sometimes ironic but always affectionate look at the game.” Now his personal take on football features in the Auréole Exhibition, accessible through a “virtual museum” open 24/7. It is his own unique tribute to football and its popularity.
Clearly creative himself, it is creative footballers that appeal most to SLip. Michel Platini is his all time favourite, and Paul Gascoigne is up there among his idols. “I was in love with Gazza,” he says.
“I’m a long time supporter of Saint-Etienne, so called Les Verts,” he said.
“When I was young, they were on top of Europe and I have followed them since.
One of my first games that I can remember was in the Geoffroy-Guichard, stadium of Saint-Etienne,”Le Chaudron” (aka the cauldron because of the warmth of the night on every game). It was a game to stay in Ligue 1 in 1984,” he said.
“The stadium was full and I don’t even remember one moment of the match but I do remember every push of the fans in my back, the power of the singing and the smell of beer, even if I was only ten.”
His inspiration for this current project goes back to when he contributed to French football podcast P2J, Passement de Jambes (literally meaning stepover), when he produced illustrations for their weekly programme.
With colleagues he began to work on other ideas, blending classic art and football together and their unique gallery was born, with some 40 artworks on show on line, along with an exhibition in Paris.
Most of this work can be seen live online at the ongoing Auréole Exhibition.
“The exhibition was my first in Paris and I was really happy to have the opportunity to discuss it with people like former Franch Manchester United player David Bellion and artisit Bastien Vives,” he said.
“I was influenced by Soviet artists of the 30s who made photomontages like El Lissitzky. I love the way they work, adding ideas and politics with an aesthetic (touch).
“Nowadays, I love the way people like Banksy are trolling art and using everything to make people think about the world in which they live,” he said.
“I like to work on sport mainly because I love to work on my memories of past events, on the feelings I get when that happens,” he said. “It takes me back to my childhood. Sport is for me a résumé of life. I love to use a moment from sport to make people think about life.
“I was always surprised when some bands or singers say they’re connected to football. It has happened for a long time in Britain, from Rod Stewart or Elton John to the Gallaghers. In France, it remained separated until the mid-2000s, but for me, it was always connected.”
If you enjoyed that, check out artwork by Boogie Moli, the ex-footballer who’s artworks hang on the walls of Premier League stars like Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold.