Football Legend Eric Cantona Opens Art Exhibition
During the weekend, football legend Eric Cantona launched an art exhibition. The exhibition is about sporting heroes and their impact on society with art done by Michael Browne.
The ex-Manchester United star helped to curate the show, titled “From Moss Side to Marseille: The Art of Michael Browne and Eric Cantona.” When interviewed about the exhibition, Cantona said he hoped the display would encourage interest among children.
Some pieces in the exhibition include depictions of soccer icon Diego Maradona, boxer Muhammad Ali and Olympic athlete Jesse Owens. According to artist Michael Browne, he wanted to highlight figures that have fought against injustices in the world.
At the time of the exhibit’s unveiling, National Football Museum CEO, Tim Desmond said:
“We are delighted to host the premiere of From Moss Side to Marseille: The Art of Michael Browne and Eric Cantona here at the National Football Museum. We look forward to engaging thousands of visitors over the next six months and giving everybody the opportunity to engage with football and creativity.”
Sources say that the collection was influenced by their (Cantona and Browne’s) sporting heroes, who used their positions to advocate for social change, despite the personal cost.
In the exhibition, visitors will see paintings showing recognizable figures as larger-than-life protagonists in scenes lifted from history and mythology.
Aside from the ten large artworks on display, the exhibition also has never before seen items from Browne's archive.
Michael Browne is an artist known for featuring sporting figures and neoclassical style in his work. Before this exhibition, Browne previously had a sports-related work featured in the museum. In 2001, his best-known painting, "The Art of the Game," depicting Eric Cantona as Jesus, was displayed in The National Portrait Museum in a collection of 101 portraits. More recently, his £50 note pencil drawing of Wayne Rooney coincided with the United captain’s testimonial and was displayed in the National Football Museum.
It was in 1996 that Browne established a long-lasting friendship with Eric Cantona. During that time, he had begun working on his famous The Art of the Game painting, which chronicled Cantona’s return to football after his ban.
Eric Cantona, on the other hand, is a former football player credited for making Manchester United a dominant force in English football in the 1990s. After his retirement in the 1996-97 season, Cantona became a French actor, director, and producer.
Reportedly, Man Utd icons Sir Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona posed together at the exhibition. Cantona shared the photo on his Instagram with the caption, "With the BOSS and the artist Mikael Browne at the opening of the exhibition « from Moss Side to Marseille » in the National Football Museum in Manchester. Don’t miss it! It’s magnificent and powerful!"
The art exhibit will be open until June at the National Football Museum in Manchester.
In addition to the exhibition, a 28-page exhibition catalogue will be available for purchase from the Museum Shop. There will also be limited edition prints of various sizes, signed artwork, and a merchandise collection.
Due to the funding from Manchester City Council, the City of Manchester residents have free admission to the museum.