An art collection celebrating Pelé’s finest moments on the pitch has been released by the UK’s leading fine art publisher, Washington Green, today (Friday 27th May).
The eight new giclée on paper photographic prints are the second instalment of works to be released from Washington Green’s ‘Art Life Football’ series, honouring Pelé’s extraordinary life and career. Released in an edition of 295, each piece is individually hand signed by the football icon, and will be available to buy at Castle Galleries in Leamington Spa based on Regent Street.
A native of Brazil, Pelé enjoyed a professional career during which he scored 1,283 goals in 1,366 matches. He is the only football player to have won three World Cup tournaments and remains the top scorer in the history of the Brazil National team.
Featuring some of his most memorable sporting achievements, those caught on camera in the new collection include Pelé’s spectacular goal in the 18th minute during Brazil’s 1970’s World Cup win and Brazil’s pre-game line up – known as ‘the beautiful team’ – at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
Other photos include shots of Pelé at Downing Stadium playing for the New York Cosmos in 1975 and one of Pelé’s personal favourites, ‘The Heart of a King’ image, taken by photographer Luiz Paulo Machado. One of the most famous and most globally publicised pictures of the star, this image captures the exact moment when the perspiration on Pelé’s chest shaped a heart on his shirt – furthering the legend of Pelé as ‘the man of three hearts’.
The new collection comes at a key time for Pelé, who played a central role in helping Brazil to secure the Rio 2016 Olympics, which kick off in August. This month also sees the release of ‘Pelé: Birth of a Legend’ in cinemas in the U.S., a feature length film charting his life story from humble beginnings through to leading Brazil to its first ever World Cup victory in 1958.
Pelé, who celebrated his 75th birthday last year, said:
“My joy, throughout my life, has been football. Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
Simon Daw, Gallery Manager of Leamington Spa’s Castle Galleries – Washington Green’s network of 34 retail art galleries throughout the UK – said:
“The unique range of photography we have chosen to release outlines key moments in Pelé’s decorated career. The selection of pictures – some taken nearly 50 years ago – capture the energy of the nation’s favourite sport in action and the grace of the international sporting icon that is Pelé.
“The highest quality products and printing techniques have been used to create these very special pieces of artwork which are all hand-signed by Pelé himself.”
Last year, Washington Green launched a collection of Pelé-inspired artwork from a variety of contemporary artists in honour of the icon’s 75th birthday. In addition to the new photographic prints, this May sees two of the pieces from UK art sensation Stuart McAlpine Miller and U.S. fashion photographer turned fine artist Raphael Mazzucco released as signed limited edition prints. Both of the artists’ original artworks featured in the Pelé: Art, Life, Football exhibition at Halcyon Gallery in September 2015, which saw unprecedented numbers flock to the gallery.