If you’re wondering whether you can see local artwork at the NBA Crossover this weekend, the good news is: yes, you can. Art installations with a Chicago sporty twist are on display throughout the Navy Pier exhibition as part of the All-Star weekend.
In one colorful display, a Chicago mascot pays homage to Picasso’s 1942 “Bulls Head” sculpture. Curated by Nike Lab co-founder Billi Kidd, the “Chicago Bulls Remix” installation features 30 bulls crafted from bicycle seats and handle bars.
“At first no one liked it, no one thought it was art,” Kidd said of Picasso’s work.
In fact, “Bulls Head” created such a stir when it was first exhibited in 1944, it was ultimately taken down. Perspectives have since changed – dramatically. “Now it’s considered one of the top pieces of 20th century art,” Kidd said.
“Chicago Bulls Remix” features graffiti artists from around the country. The sculptures will be on display at the Crossover all weekend for art lovers to bid on, with proceeds going to local charities including Chicago’s Social Works.
One bull titled “A Simple Game” features hues of soft pink, sky blue and yellow. It’s the only bull constructed by a Chicago graffiti artist duo, Conrad Javier and Alexa Van Dike.
A project three years in the making, Kidd says he’s glad to finally be able to pay tribute to this historic piece.
“When Picasso has his first exhibition in the United States, it was here in Chicago,” Kidd says. “So the fact that now 70 years later these artists are able to recreate what once wasn’t even considered art is incredible.”
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Angel Idowu is the JCS Fund of the DuPage Foundation Arts Correspondent.