Athletes are Artists

Most of us would say that art and sports don’t have much to do with each other – but I don’t think that’s true. While our intellectual self lives in the mind, our intuition lives in the body. This embodied self is the seat of creativity – and therefore of art.

On the surface, we tend to think of athletes as physical and not particularly creative, but stretching our physical abilities and challenging our bodies is a well-traveled path to creativity, and many athletes are also artists.

Renan Ozturk is known mostly as a climbing photographer and cinematographer and professional climber, but he describes himself as a “landscape artist at heart”, and his paintings provide a unique window into the eye of a mountaineer.

Mount Whitney Cicre by Renan Ozturk
Renan Ozturk: Mount Whitney Cicre

Baron Batch pursued a career in professional football before realizing that he was The Artist:

Feel my Truth by Baron Batch
Baron Batch: Feel My Truth

Gregory Porter is a hugely successful jazz musician who pursued an early career in football before finding his calling in music.

Gregory Porter: Take Me To The Alley
Gregory Porter: Take Me To The Alley

Jered Gruber is a cyclist and photographer whose images capture perfectly the free spirit of the modern cyclist:

While riding with @igortavella on the steep little farm roads that wind their way along the flanks of the Dolomites, I wondered if it would be possible to do 5000 meters (or more) of climbing on all the little roads in less than 100k. Igor laughed – of course! In that moment, an idea hit. We should do a ride later this year: invite anyone who wants to join us to get a big flavor of Igor's backyard, his secrets – paved and dirt – but all doable on a road bike, so long as the rider is ok with gradients that are always north of 10% and isn't scared of some dirt roads and a bit of amazing singletrack (meaning this won't be everyone's cup of hot chocolate). It will be on a Saturday or Sunday or both – everything will of course be based out of the Tavella hotel: the @UstariaPosta in Badia. We are thinking early to middle September. It will be the #YOLOMITES 5000 brought to you by @holimites and Igor. If the rider has had their fill at any point, they can cut it short whenever they want – we will never be more than 20k from the start at the Ustaria Posta. #yolomites5000 #conquereveryroad

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Riikka Hyvönen is a roller derby skater and artist. Her unique  painted and upholstered sculptures put us directly in touch with the bruises that derby girls collect:

I Got a Really Beautiful Bruise on My Bum, Do You Want To See a Pic It Has 12 Colours And Is the Size of My Head! by Riikka Hyvönen
I Got a Really Beautiful Bruise on My Bum, Do You Want To See a Pic It Has 12 Colours And Is the Size of My Head! by Riikka Hyvönen

Gou Miyagi is an incredibly innovative skateboarder who is developing new and unique ways of using his body and his board to create movement and imagery: