Another masterpiece has been added to a rapidly expanding subgenre of art: sculptures of famous athletes that look nothing like those famous athletes.
Brandi Chastain, the soccer star whose pull-her-jersey-off goal celebration in the 1999 World Cup provided one of sport’s most iconic moments, is the latest, er, victim of sculptural farcicalism. She was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night, and her plaque has been universally judged to be even worse than the previous worst of this budding movement.
A sculpture of the soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo at the Madeira International Airport in Portugal unveiled last year was widely derided in the seldom-tempered Twitterverse as really bad.
Now the sculptural accuracy police are all over the Chastain representation, which proudly embraces whatever the opposite of Realism is.
In the spirit of inclusiveness, art critics and people with access to Twitter cited other touchstones of downright terrible likenesses, like the weird courtroom sketch of Tom Brady.
At her induction ceremony, Chastain spoke carefully. “It’s not the most flattering,” she said, according to The San Jose Mercury News. “But it’s nice.”
Anthony Savicke, a vice president of the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, told The Mercury News that the images on the plaques were merely “representations.” Of whom it was unclear.
The Ronaldo sculptor, Emanuel Santos, took another shot at the bust earlier this year, and did better, by all accounts.
He told The BBC of his original work: “It is impossible to please the Greeks and Trojans. Neither did Jesus please everyone.”
Neither Greeks nor Trojans are lining up to praise the plaque that features Chastain’s name and someone else’s face.