Shaun Ellison, Novak Vs Medvedev, Australian Open, 2023; Original Painting

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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 fragility 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).

Shaun Ellison
Novak Vs Medvedev, Australian Open, 2023
11 x 8 inches
Original Painting
Watercolor on paper

Having been in attendance of the 2021 match between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev, the artist initially created Novak Vs Medvedev, Australian Open, 2023 for a t-shirt collaboration project. The signature blue court immediately places the viewer at the Australian Open, watching a competitive tennis match between two greats. As the player in the background returns to the ground after a powerful serve, the player in the foreground anticipates the movement of the ball as it crosses over the net. The ball staff hold their motionless positions at the ready, waiting for their queue to sprint across the court. The vibrant palette of the match spectators adds to the anticipatory excitement of the crowd, eagerly following the ball as it flies across the court. The Rolex clock sits in the corner, hinting at the exhaustion of the players: one hour and forty minutes of sprinting and volleying have passed. 

Of this series benefitting reforestation efforts, he notes, “Reforestation is a critical issue and I’m proud to play any role that I can in protecting the environment. I am excited to collaborate with ART FOR CHANGE on this front and knowing that the personal can continue to catalyze change.”

ART FOR CHANGE will plant ten trees for each print sold to support reforestation efforts. As in all series, artists will receive 50% of the net proceeds of print sales.

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