25 July 2012
Last updated at 15:52
India's leading graphic artist Sarnath Banerjee has designed a series of London billboards and posters for the Frieze Foundation, a British non-profit arts organisation, to coincide with the Olympics. Banerjee says he chose to do a campaign that "celebrates losers". Pictures courtesy: Polly Braden and Frieze Foundation.
"It is really a gallery of losers, an album on non-achievers," says Banerjee of his work, which is being displayed on full-size billboards and posters around the city.
"I want to change the discourse on competitive sports a bit. Ruffle up the clichés about winners and winnings. To me, winning is a small detail, but that could perhaps be because I was terrible at competitive sports. I sometimes find winners vulgar," says Banerjee, 40.
Frieze Foundation says Banerjee's work "taps into a collective consciousness of sporting near misses - the people who almost made it - and aims to resonate with both local communities and visitors to the London games".
'In celebrating the losers, I have a boxer who is forever thinking of dodging punches," says Banerjee.
"Or a pole-vaulter who, just before a jump, realises that perhaps he has chosen the wrong sport."
"Or a hockey player who faces a wall of bureaucrats sitting before the goal post."
"Or a judoka who learnt the sport through a correspondence course."
"The gaze is purely Indian, though the characters are not. I feel you aren't truly international unless you have a very deep sense of the local."
"Most days I try to get in the skin of the loser, which frankly isn’t very difficult for me. Every week I am a different sportsman, I behave like them - sometimes a discuss thrower or a fencer or shot-putter."