We were so moved by this short film celebrating Kehinde Wiley’s Legends of Unity featuring footballers Samuel Eto’o, Emmanuel Eboué and John Mensah, we had to get some face time with the artist himself.
To celebrate the upcoming World Cup, PUMA commissioned Wiley to paint original portraits of the athletes. In the painting that depicts them all standing together, the players wear PUMA’s limited-edition “Unity” kit. Like Wiley’s vibrant work itself, the color of the kit tells a story: the brown hue was created specifically for the project by mixing actual soil samples from Ghana, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire and Mozambique. Sure, it’s a good three months until the World Cup hits South Africa, but watching Of the Same Earth, we can’t help but feel that excitement—the spirit of the game.
After a 3-day run, the Legends of Unity portraits have already left Deitch Projects in NYC, but will travel to Beijing and Milan before landing in South Africa for the World Cup in June.