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The Game

Stanley Pinker

At risk of sounding cynical, I wonder about the meaning and integrity of sport in the modern world. In the centre of this picture is a boxing ring with a white boxer and a black boxer pounding away at each other. A devil-like figure on one side and a springbok, on stilts terminating in a spring, on the other looks on while a tortoise wanders slowly past and a rabbit bolts away. The inevitable sponsor's logo on the side - 'Pschitt' -is self explanatory! To the left, out of the box, figures spring forth throwing stones, a reference to the chief weapon of the unarmed. To add to the chaos, at left, a line-out jumps for the ball: this image based on a press photograph turned sideways. The aborted bicycle has a saddle but no handle bars or wheels while the cyclist cycles on a uni-wheel, a black box over his head and a balancing pole, resembling that of a tight-rope walker. In the bottom right corner a rugby ball balances on a football waiting for kick-off. In the distance vultures circle over the scene and the locust, a symbol of destruction, hovers over the boxers.

In our daily life there seems to be a real lack of acknowledgement of the people who have made incredible contributions to our understanding on many levels, but the media is saturated with images and banalities of the demi-gods of sport, players bought and sold by clubs paying inordinate sums of money for key players. It all seems far from the spirit of sport. Who and where are the unsung heroes and heroines of our time? The tortoise could be our mentor. Slow down!

This is a painting purely about greed. A snake is often seen a guardian or a ominous protector of a object or place, and in this instance it is entwined with the old South Africa and its mineral wealth. It resembles the snakes found with party packs, and wears a comical hat with a flag, and hisses, a warning to anyone interfering with the state of affairs. Even though the old South Africa flag and ZA, as seen on stickers identifying South African cars, are prominent, I am also drawing attention to universal greed where money, investments, gold and silver are of extraordinary importance because they are manifestations of power.

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