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What do you think of the Games posters?

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Roger Mosey | 13:00 UK time, Friday, 4 November 2011

By common consent, the Cultural Olympiad had a slow start.

The initial reaction was more about head-scratching than hand-clapping - though, as we've noted here before, it has got itself into markedly better shape in recent months.

The idea of converting the peak events into the London 2012 Festival is a smart one, and today there's been a series of announcements about what people can expect to see in arts and culture across the UK next year. The organisers' Festival website has gone live and you can find it - with more information about tickets - here

Later this month we'll be revealing more of the BBC's plans in this area. You may already have heard about the Radio 1 Hackney Weekend 2012 and the Proms will have more than a touch of the Olympics too. But our wider ambitions include drama, comedy, the visual arts and insights into what makes London what it is - a global city with an incredible mix of people.

So we believe culture is very important indeed. That's why in the BBC we make such a massive commitment to arts and music.

But we should be clear-sighted about the challenges ahead for the country in 2012, and I've been unconvinced by the argument you hear occasionally that delivering the Cultural Olympiad is just as important as the Olympics themselves.

Clearly, the UK wants to do both well. But the global test for Seb Coe and Locog is about whether they deliver a brilliant Games not whether there's a wonderful programme at the Barbican or the Southbank. July 27th to August 12th is a time in our national lives when sport comes first.

Today, though, there's an example of how the arts can potentially work with sport. Locog have unveiled the posters for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, some of which you can see below:

Some of the 2012 posters


They're not likely to be universally acclaimed because some of them shout "modern art" not sporting tradition, and I've heard a voice or two pre-launch wondering whether these will fuel the doubts of those who hated the logo and haven't been convinced by any of the London Games' visual design.

Personally I would always support ambition, even if the execution isn't to my taste. I've always admired Locog's willingness to take risks - which, as we've discussed previously, turned a long-shot bid to host the Games into an innovative alternative to Paris's more establishment plans. Whatever you think about the logo and the mascots, at least they're distinctive and don't feature yet another cuddly bear.

And so it is with the posters. If you'll forgive my language, it's probably the first time the word "arse" has appeared so prominently in an Olympic setting; and yes, our office has been struggling to see quite what the sporting dimension is of a couple of contributions.

So the questions are the obvious ones. Do you like them? Is it better to be interesting rather than predictable? And do posters like these have the power to bring sport and art together, or are they always destined to be distant relatives?

I'm sure you'll let us know what you think.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I agree they are not all to my personal taste, but some of the images are really interesting and though provoking. I particularly like the works by Rachel Whiteread, Fiona Banner, Sarah Morris and Anthea Hamilton. Although I wouldn't hang all of these on my wall, but I can certainly see the artistic merit in them.
    Others though - Tracey Emin's, Gary Hume's, Bob & Roberta Smith's and Howard Hodgkin's - look as though they are either not finished, are rough drafts of a better final product or have been done in a completely slap dash manner. These are supposed to be some of the country's finest artists, but they have produced works that would barely suffice as GCSE coursework.

  • Comment number 2.

    Surely, a major national event like the Olympics should use various art styles so everyone can find something they appreciate. Restricting all the visual designs to so called 'modern art' is likely to divide not unite. The logo, mechandise and now the posters do not attract me at all. I appreciate some people like that kind of art so I've no objection to some posters following that style. But not all of them?

    I can't get excited by a poster of an 'extended podium' that is just a pile of different coloured blocks of decreasing size. Must have taken all of 20 minutes.

    It the organisers want everyone to relate to the artwork they need to be more inclusive. Otherwise they will have to put up with the 'looks like a junior school art display' comments, which was, you will not be surprised to hear, my first thought on seeing the posters.

  • Comment number 3.

    The Anthea Hamilton, Michael Craig-Martin and Rachel Whiteread designs have genuine merit and obvious relevance to the subject matter, but the remainder of this offering are the usual prize-winning daubs and squiggles that one would have expected from a competition of this kind. Once again an opportunity to showcase good quality British design work has been passed over for the usual suspects of the British art "establishment" like Tracey Emin whose self-importance conceals their total lack of talent.

  • Comment number 4.

    As with the Logo, I saw better work from the non famous, I do hope that someone trusts their own instincts and not those of so called experts. The posters, in the main, do not even hint of what they are supposed to represent. Circles and bars of colour do not show much imagination. Maybe the same amount of effort went in to some of these as into the unmade bed.

  • Comment number 5.

    Absolute trash, please please please tell me these are not going on public display...anybody know the value of these commissions? Head scratching !!!, only fit for scratching something else if 2 ply is not available. better to have left it to junior school least having Angela aged 6 on them might mitigate.

  • Comment number 6.

    I certainly hope they didn't pay much for them, my five year old could have whipped them up in an afternoon.

  • Comment number 7.

    The usual mix of some interesting stuff and some intellectualised rubbish.

  • Comment number 8.

    Some of those pictures could have been done by my five year old. More time seems to have been spent on explaining what each picture is about than time spent on constructing it in the first place.

  • Comment number 9.

    What a load of rubbish. And the Gold Medal for hopeless artists goes to Great Britain!

  • Comment number 10.

    Well I wondered what my 2 year old daughter was doing at nursery for the Olympics, it was putting those paintings together. Is this the best that can represent the UK..?
    Let me guess those that are paying for this event (i.e UK Tax Payer) did not have a say on this..!!

  • Comment number 11.

    well i think it was very nice to open this up to the viewers of blue peter, I hope they all got a badge!

  • Comment number 12.

    what a joke !!! my 2 year old granddaughter could do better..... but of course the "experts" will love them.

  • Comment number 13.

    Absolute rubbish. I cheered and literally cried with pride the day the winner of the host country was announced. I found the Olympic logo to be a little odd but not too bad, and since then I've grown to not be completely embarrassed by it. Even some of these posters, as other commenters have mentioned, are reasonable. However, to put forward five strokes of five solid colours as a piece of art that should represent the Olympics, is an insult to sport and culture alike. I totally agree with the person that wondered why all of these posters had to scream "modern art" - apparently this country is meant to be the pinnacle of diversity, and our Games are meant to be representing that? Where's the diversity in this lot? Imagine the beautiful creations that could have come out of a bit of imagination and African/Asian/Middle Eastern inspirations, or from working with disability groups, LGBT groups, young people, the elderly... imagine if you had put some REAL effort into producing these posters. Then we would have something to be proud of. Hopefully this won't be the lot?

  • Comment number 14.

    What a load of rubbish, my 6 year old grand daughter could have done better.

  • Comment number 15.

    When I saw them I assumed that they had been submitted by school kids. Thought provoking my arse.

  • Comment number 16.

    Thumbs up for Patrick Brill, Rachel Whiteread & Michael Craig Martin, thumbs down for the rest. Any design that has to have explanatory notes underneath has simply failed to communicate as a design. Show these to any tourists in Trafalgar Square and I doubt they’d realise they were advertising the Olympics; far less feel enthused by them.

    Tracey Emmin’s design might work as a hallmark card, but hardly shouts ‘Paralympic’! Hodgkin’s ‘has potential but needs more work’ as my art teacher would have said.

    Believe it or not this country does have some talented graphic designers (as opposed to ‘contemporary artists’) plus those being trained at art colleges. Is it too late to have a quick open competition to find some designs that communicate more effectively and clearly?

  • Comment number 17.

    As expected, what a steaming pile of rubbish!

  • Comment number 18.

    All very nice except for Swimming by Howard Hodgkin.What a load of c**p. He must think the british public are stupid. In no way is this art. A blind monkey with a pot of blue paint could do as well, if not better ! I also note it is the most expensive print to buy. I hope it is a limited edition and they havn't wasted too much art paper because there will be a lot left over.

  • Comment number 19.

    I presume the one with an outline of a body upside down in a swimming pool is intended to represent the rest of them - i.e. the murder of the British Olympics!

  • Comment number 20.

    It seems you no longer need any skill in drawing to be an "artist" these days... The only skill on show here is the ability to waffle pretentiously about their "meaning". I've seen better work in schools, and in some cases, zoos.

    Why O why are our talented youngsters in art and design colleges across the country not being asked to contribute to something of this magnitude? What a great start to a youngster's career this would be! As usual, the British muddle along without anyone thinking anything through properly... shameful.

  • Comment number 21.

    Whiteread …Very good, that's proper art, I can tell they’re ‘Olympic’ rings

    Hamilton ...OK, but could have picked someone with better legs

    Riley, Craig-Martin, Brill ...I’ve seen better down the local primary school

    Morris ...too clever by half; the problem with abstract is that if you don't give it a title, no-one will guess what it is

    Creed, Hodgkins, Ofili, Banner, Emin, Hume ...what were you all smoking? ... pretty sure that some of you didn’t even bother to get out of bed to draw these

  • Comment number 22.

    These posters are typical modernistic offerings, not worth a penny piece of the fee.

  • Comment number 23.

    Honest to goodness. As a graphics arts professional for the last 15 years - I have to say that I'm utterly embarrassed that someone/committee chose these to represent our country for both the 2012 Olympics and the Paralympics.

    One or two may have "some merit", but the rest are just a sad indictment on the utter lack of talent in the arts. The 'free lunch' & the 'old boys network' culture that governs the decision makers appears to be in full force and gaining momentum.

    It's a very, very sad day for the visual arts. Seriously - is this really the best we can do?

  • Comment number 24.

    Sometimes a new piece of art
    Happens to look allright
    This collection
    Evades ways to excite

  • Comment number 25.

    sorry but i find these posters embarrassing. To think that people will be coming from all over the world and veiwing these posters as a representation of our 'culture'. The artistic concept behind nearly all the posters is so contrived as to be almost childlike. not to mention the almost total lack of technical skill or merit. What on earth is the Turner prize for exactly ? and why have so many winners of this 'award' been chosen to create these ? I would rather they had a nationwide competition in schools to create these posters. I dare say our children could do better.

  • Comment number 26.

    so, ".....The artists were encouraged to celebrate the Games coming to London and to look at the values of the Olympics and Paralympics.....". Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all forms of art (modern to traditional etc), but come on! Is this really the best that some of the UKs leading (apparently) artists can come up with? Some are pathetic! I am going to leave work and become an "artist"! What annoys me is that this is meant to be an opportunity for the UK to showcase themselves, but I think the public have been severely let down by a few of these! My daughter who is 7 would have done something much more fitting and thought provoking.

  • Comment number 27.

    Painfully, awfully, embarrassingly bad. Imagine people coming from all over the world to be greeted by this rubbish. Very low on ideas and even lower on skill or craft to produce these (in most cases). Clipart stopwatch from 15 years ago? Check. Typography most people would only read if they had to wait an hour for a bus? Check. Random blobs of poster paint that took perhaps 10 minutes to complete? Check. Don't know which I find worse, the pics or drivel written below them.

  • Comment number 28.

    @ 1. 'Thought provoking' - you're kidding, right?

    'Tosh' would be the word I would use describe them.

  • Comment number 29.

    I'm sure these images appeal to many professional artists, but surely the point is to make them appeal to the general public?. Many of which, will probably look at them and say 'my 5 year old child could of done that'. I mean come on, a podium with a few extra layers, what a load of rubbish that is. Even if it is 'art', it's not likely to inspire or excite people about the Olympics on any level. Finally, I would of have no way of working out what the images represent without the brief explanation below, so how is anyone meant to know what these posters are trying to say. The only way would be to have the text below, which would sort of make the image above rather irrelavant and an extremely large waste of money and effort.

  • Comment number 30.

    "I've heard a voice or two pre-launch wondering whether these will fuel the doubts of those who hated the logo and haven't been convinced by any of the London Games' visual design"

    That's me in a nutshell. Mind you, I'm not convinced by any of the games' organisation, ticketing, merits, legacy...

    Nonetheless, at least one of the pieces, Rachel Whiteread's, has clear merit for me. It doesn't require a lecture with the artist to work out; it's the olympic rings in the style of a drink glass impression. It quite clearly says "Olympics" and "mates night out". No needing to go fumbling through the brochure.

    Martin Creed's symbolism is relevant, but as a piece of art (which it ultimately is), it's trash. Whatever Sarah Morris aimed for, she's created a 21st century Test Card F, if only that had been her intention it might have been worthwile. Bridget Riley's piece contains all that is wrong about modern art; without her description, it is meaningless, and the description itself could be changed on a whim to represent anything.

  • Comment number 31.

    Why are two BBC journalists writing articles on this subject? Surely ones enough?

    Pick a straw!

  • Comment number 32.

    What a load of utter TOSH!!!

    The biggest event to hit these shores since 1966 and we allow people like Tracy Emin to do a quick splodge and hide behind the old "Well if you can't see what it is I'm not going to explain it to you!"

    The rest of the World will be laughing like drains!

  • Comment number 33.

    What a crock!!! I shudder to think how much of our taxes went to and will go towards the creation and mass publications of these images. The emperor's new robe - more like his entire spring collection. I can't imagine half of these were given any more than a few seconds thought, yet we're supposed to belief that there's hidden depths and thought provocations in them. Some of them looks suspiciously like the end result of an pre-school child's breakfast accident.

  • Comment number 34.

    On a par with the ticket ballot but not surprised.

  • Comment number 35.

    The usual naysayers swoop upon anything slightly different, happy only when running down anything to do with the Olympics / modern Britain. Britain is a world leader in modern art. Thank goodness we are not bound by convention and what has gone before. Everything about the Olympics willl be "of its time" and we should revel in it, not be bound by convention. I don't like some of the entries, but I appreciate the environment in which we can allow our modern artists to have total creative freedom. Hopefully the whole games will follow suit and step away from the received behaviour.
    As for my favourite, I think the olympic bottle marks is wonderful.

  • Comment number 36.

    I cant decide whether this is a classic example of "the emperor's new clothes", or whether it is just a good old fashioned wind up. Reading the captions, I can only assum it is the latter.

    At least one of them is just a sheet of wrapping paper - the stripes represent the lanes in the pool/on the track - really? - not the fact that inside there is a dodgy sweater. The one by Martin Creed wouldn't look out of place on the wall of the local infant's school.

    One or two of them are impressive - e.g. the one by Chris Ofili, but the rest are just pseudo intellectual rubbish.

  • Comment number 37.

    I think if you're going to have official art, then this is the best way to go. It's not simply that most of the portfolio is dull, it also has the great virtue of being utterly forgettable. If you're going to have art that says something meaningful about the Olympics and British Society then it's not likely to come from an elite paid to make laudatory images. This leaves a big gap that the public can fill with a more critically informed artistic sense.

    What would be genuinely interesting would be to have a project recording graffitti about the Olympics in 2012. It wouldn't be 100% flattering, but it'd be much more of a genuine risk for Locog than faffing around with someone else's money.

  • Comment number 38.

    #35 - my objection is that the "works of art" are only considered interesting because the people who produced them have reputations (whether deserved or not).
    If a complete unknown had submitted some of those, they would have gone straight into the bin.

    And why is there nothing by Jenny Saville in the list.

  • Comment number 39.


    Creed - a striking artwork using muted Olympic colours whose description adds to its impact (often pretentious blurbs put me off espeically if they feel like they're added afterwards but I love the podium idea here).

    Whiteread - fun, full of movement and so obviously Olympic.

    Hodgkin - probably didn't take long (!), but a brave statement for such a commission. You can almost see a human figure in there too. Quite simply, it works.


    Emin - gushy, scribbled nonsense.

    Riley - unconvincing, bland and unlike the Creed which feels thought out, the blurb here feels like it was added afterwards just to force it into its little Olympic box.

    Ofili - just think it's a horrible drawing, sorry.

    The rest somewhere in between.

  • Comment number 40.

    Assuming that the purpose of a poster is to attract attention to the event that it advertises, I cannot imagine that my eye would be captured by any of these.

    Back to the drawing board, and this time think about what it's for.

  • Comment number 41.

    I was going to add my own probably very harsh and rude comment about how bad all of these posters are, then i read the other comments and everyone seems to have the same opinion.

    So i would just like to add that i agree with most people here.

    Roger Mosey do us all a favour and let Sebastian Coe and Paul Deighton know they are doing a very bad job.

  • Comment number 42.

    These posters look they they have been created by wallpaper manufacturers of dubious ability

  • Comment number 43.

    Please let us see a national competition up and running for the start of the year 2012, that would allow children from the various year groups to create and image for the Olympics. Children's imaginations could provide far more interesting pieces of work than these 'attempts'. I still can't get over that the London 2012 logo was just thrown at us with little consultation.

  • Comment number 44.

    This is a joke...right?

  • Comment number 45.

    To given an opinion on most them would give them to much credit, I don't want people to think because I have any feelings one way or the other then they must be art and I must be an expert in art or too stupid to see the art.

    I just want to question, if these people call themselves talented then why have they produced work the give a lie to that telent. Usan Bolt is not going to run backwards to prove he can run fast is he ? should be an interesting games if so :-)

  • Comment number 46.

    Ref the Olympic posters - quite amazingly POOR! - the art for this event is embarrassing. See the picture that I have painted as an Olympic poster under ref Humour and the Indefinable E/27 and compare.

    Margaret Dawn Pepper

  • Comment number 47.

    I'm of the the "I don't know aboot art but ah knows what ah likes" school. Going through in order:

    Hamilton's is both a nice idea & nicely executed.
    Creed - nice idea; dreadful execution. I very much like the notion that the Olympics is about more than the first 3 places, but the painting is so utterly childish that it will rightly be derided.
    Hodgkins - Can't make my mind up about this one. It's the sort of aimless squiggle that normally have me dismissing it asd prentious rubbish. But in the context of the Olympics, I immediately think "swimming" and s'elp me, it works!
    Ofili I've a certain sneaking respect for. He is creative & skillful, even if his work is sometimes rather ugly and unartisitc frankly. This one I like.
    Riley - someone said "Test Card" about one of the other entries. No it's this one. See 39's comments about the blurb. No artistic merit whatsoever.
    Whietead - vying with the first one as the best of the bunch. It is a bit "a 5 year old could have done that by accident", but it is also instantly recognisable. You know it's about the Olympics, and the mates' night out? Yeah, I thought "beer glasses" too.. It works!
    Banner - another "no artistic merit". Someone threw paint at a canvas, then superimposed a bunch of random text over the top. The only reason this isn't the worst one here is because Emin contributed.
    Craig-Martin - Yes, I see the point; no, I don't like the picture. It's another one of those where 500,000 could draw it, if they'd had the same idea. It's unskillful.
    Emin - As ever, utterly dire. Just for once, there seems to be some vague glimmering of an ability to actaully draw, but once again she proves that she is probably the most pretentious, over-rated so-called "artist" active.
    Hume - Blobs that could mean anything. I was being unfair on Banner. She's probably only 4th worst of these 12 (Emin, Hume & Riley, Banner).
    Morris - this is the one someon called a test card. I actually like it. Strong shapes, strong colours, it's quite attractive. The problem is that, without the caption, I wouldn't have a clue it was an abstract of Big Ben, much less had any connection with the Paralympics.
    Smith / Brill - meh. Two million people in this country could have come up with the words; two million could have painted it; one million could probably have done both. But most of them wouldn't claim they were "artists" on the strength of it. Uninspiring.

    Overall, 4 decent efforts & 1 maybe out of 12. And just two vag

  • Comment number 48.

    The posters are rubbish - see conceptualpainting website number E27 and compare!

  • Comment number 49.

    The BBC seem to have cut me off! "And just two vaguely realistic representations of anything amongst them. Modern Art? Modern Pretentiousness, more like..." And my apologies for the lack of proof-reading, but it is Friday night! ;-)

  • Comment number 50.

    Dunno if you were replying directly to me, Margaret, but I'd put you alongside Hodgkins in the maybe category. It's not especially original; it's rather on the crude side; nevertheless it's a damn sight better than half of the Official ones!

  • Comment number 51.

    im currently looking at my 3year olds pre school paintings thinking she could make a tidy bit of money here because the olympic comitee and all involved are gullible maronic eejits with mroe money than sense! and quite frankly the fact your displaying this "art" is offensive, absolute load of guff, that shows nothing, but squiggles, blocks of color, microsoft painted stripes and cup rings!!! and these people have won bloody prizes?!?!

  • Comment number 52.

    My 3 year old came home from nursery with something very similar to the circles. The only difference being that he used squares and not all the Olympic colours.

  • Comment number 53.

    Well, at least they've maintained the standard of the official logo.

  • Comment number 54.

    what the blue blazes is this 'art' all about?! My 3 and 5 year olds would do better

  • Comment number 55.

    i can honestly say that the posters do nothing to say anything about the olympics and simply show the art world to be a completely elitest world inhabited by people who are so far removed from reality that they have no idea how to connect with the average person. If the Olympics is really supposed to be an event for everyone then please make all aspects of the process something that everyone can enjoy.

  • Comment number 56.

    Upon seeing this 'art' I had to register to comment. Are the BBC taking the Hit and miss by using licence payers money to show this pathetic collection of childish scrawl to the world. It's embarrassing. None of those pieces of 'art' are either thought provoking or representative of British culture. As for the 'artists', if you read this, don't believe what you are being told by people who are paid to tell you that your good. Your not. It's rubbish.

  • Comment number 57.

    Is this the best that British 'artists' can come up with? Comparison with the posters of the 1948 London Games show just how superficial, trivial and pretentious modern British art has become. Tracy Emin's 'effort is, quite, frankly a national embarrassment. Why do we pander to these artists? - if one criticises them, their retort is that we 'don't understand' (sorry, 'don't get') modern art. The fact is that it isn't art, just self-indulgent rubbish.

  • Comment number 58.

    These submissions are being described as a 'metaphor' as they depict the 'spirit' of the games. Is someone having a laugh? If these contributions represent the ambitions of the organisers then what will the opening ceremony be like - a metaphor for spectacle - two jugglers and a clown.

  • Comment number 59.

    there all really lovely, pieces of pure genius if created by 2 year olds. But of course i'm not expert, the experts must of course know more than me and everybody else because we want to embrace modern art 100%,
    What was the point in an A level in art i could better than some of these at the age of 3, do i get a prize?? Ever want any similar blue blobs, you don't need to hold a national competition just visit the local nursery.
    Waste of money yet more waste of money that could be better spent on other things, glad to see we are showing off the best of Britain for 2012.

  • Comment number 60.

    Whats wrong with holding a competition in which school children can send posters and the best are selected? It would save alot of money rather than paying these clowns to paint five lines on a sheet of paper and would involve the community and most importantly children who can then see their own art work all across the country rather than feeding the already bloated ego's of the self-acclaimed 'modern artists'.

  • Comment number 61.

    I love them! Definitely better to be interesting than predictable and definitely good to get some real, interesting and important artists involved in this project. My favourites are Chris Ofili's, Rachel Whiteread's and Bridget Riley's. The only one that doesn't work at all for me is Gary Hume's. I am actually planning to buy at least one or two of the posters which I would never have expected! I hope they sell many more of these than the 'Wenlock Towelling Robes' which are on the website. This is the first time I've started to feel excited about the Olympics at all.

  • Comment number 62.

    I'm just wondering just how much money this has cost. Many of these posters lack any creativeity or relevance to sport or the spirit of the oylmpics at all. At least two of them look like the supposed artist has simply take a packet of wrapping papper off the shelf at their local supermarket. I myself who lacks any artistic talent could have whipped up at three of them in minutes. Wouldn't it had been far better to open this up the schools and get children interested and involved in doing it? I'm sure most of their efforts would have been far better than most showed in this article.

  • Comment number 63.

    I think someone is having a laugh. What a pile of pretentious self important people they are. Well they certainly are p... Artists as they ate taking it out of the people that paid them.

  • Comment number 64.

    To think I spent 4 years doing a Diploma and Hons Degree in Graphic Design and 20 years in design industry.... seriously, is this the best that Bristish Design can offer?

  • Comment number 65.

    Well, at the risk of being called a philistine (again) I have to say that from where I'm looking it appears that most of these creations(I'm being kind,now)look like they could have been the product of Primary School kids.
    Obviously,the majority of the rest of the World and I just don't get it, the nuances and suchlike, but if getting it means we consider this stuff to be of any merit,we're better off having to do without it and will forever remain in the philistine camp.
    Oh well,there's worse things we could be,I suppose!!

  • Comment number 66.

    What an absolute load of rubbish how can these awful pictures possibly capture the spirit of the Olympics !!! Utter nonsense.

  • Comment number 67.

    My 13 year old could do better. Not one of them inspires me with the sense of occasion I would associate with the Olympics. They'd be better off opening it up to all schools to submit posters

  • Comment number 68.

    I'm going to agree with a large majority of what was said, although I do like some of the posters. Most of these paintings, in my opinion, fall in to the catagories of "What are we paying for" and "I know a 3/4/5/6 year old that could do better". I also agree that there should have been a nationwide competition amongst art students. The Olympics is about leaving a legacy, so why not allow some of the best young artists come up with a part of that and help to start creating their own legacy?

    My opinions on the posters:

    Anthea Hmailton - actually I like this one a little. It screams "Olympic swimming". But that's also the's also just a little too obvious for my taste. But thats just me.

    Martin Creed - I hate this one. It's rubbish. I could have done that.

    Howard Hodgkin - It's clever, I like the idea. The painting leaves a lot to be desired.

    Chris Ofili - It just looks too unfinished for my liking. Also, it looks like there is a trohpy around the runner. At the Olympics there are MEDALS to be won. But I do like "For the unkown runner" writing down the sides, I think that is very good.

    Bridget Riley - She hasn't seirously painted THAT? It looks like the cheap wrapping paper you can buy at a garage or a corner shop. Honestly, I would fire her on the spot for that.

    Rachel Whiteread - It obviously says "Olympics" and that's a good start, and representing the social side of the Olympics but using the circles to represent marks left by bottle and glasses...that only really works when you know that's what the cirlce represent. Otherwise you just think "that's a lot of circles, and some of them aren't finished".

    Fiona Banner - utter rubbish. You're fired, next please.

    Michael Craig-Martin - it looks like you used clip-art for that. Follow Fiona out of the door please.

    Tracey Emin - I really like this one. It's different, and it's simple. I'm going to be picky and say that the "I love you" is a bit over the top for my taste for an Olympic poster, but that's my taste.

    Gary Hume - oh, I'm sorry, you're serious. In that case, that is seriously **** and seriously fired.

    Sarah Morris - it's different, and I like different, but it's a little too abstract.

    Patrick Bill - these words are absolutely right for the Paralympics...I just wish that they weren't written in the style of a 4 year old.

    What would I like to see? I said it earlier, art by young students who won the right to do posters for the Olympics and Paralympics. A lot of this stuff only really appeals to the experts...and the Olympics is for EVERYONE, so we all need to understand the art work. I like things that are different, stand out, are striking and meaningful. A lot of this lot isn't.

  • Comment number 69.

    Wow with all the money being spent on the Olympics you'd think someone could by Photoshop or a decent paintbrush. Truly embarrassed by the standard of art work trying to represent the UK!!

  • Comment number 70.

    I propose a new internet law, similar to 'Godwin's Law', dictating that "as a discussion about modern art grows longer, the probability of someone saying that their 5 year old could do better approaches 1"

  • Comment number 71.

    bridget riley .. joke, utter laughable joke. wouldnt let her paint my porch let alone posters. nothing good there at all tbh, very low grade cheap looking tat.

  • Comment number 72.

    Just witnessed some 'Art-critic' drooling over the attempts by professional artists to design a poster for the Games.
    To my mind they mostly look like something a 5 year old has knocked up on a wet Sunday afternoon, in fact most 5 year old would be embarrassed to submit these items
    There is an element of Emporer's new clothes in it they are rubbish as posters for the Games, I'll be glad when it's finished

  • Comment number 73.

    i seriously hope no one paid the artists to do this. they are apauling. my kids created better art when they were in play school at the age of 3!

    they don't represent london, the UK or the olympics. as for the comentator today trying to justify the image he imagined in the blue swirls..... what planet did he come from?

    very poor show if this is the best UK artists can come up with (i don't believe it is, just a very poor choice by the olympic organisers again)

  • Comment number 74.

    Most of these posters are complete rubbish. I've seen sweet wrappers with more relevance to the Olympic Games.

  • Comment number 75.

    OMG is this really the best we can do ???? the critic said there was no need for obvious engagement with the games in the posters ??????????
    That is what a poster does you fool ????? if you don't know what the poster is telling you then it has failed ???
    These are very poor and arty for art sake! this is a sports event, my son even said he could have done better ???? hes 13 ???

  • Comment number 76.

    I couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing. As an artist myself I find it insulting for Ruth Mackenzie to say that the works represented the very best of British art work. With few exceptions, the exhibited works were juvenile rubbish and a mickey take. In these auetere times it angers people to see money wasted in this irresponsible manner. Ruth Makenzie should be sacked for bringing shame and ridicule upon the nation.

  • Comment number 77.

    Well well well self indulgence of modern art, I understand we need to have creative, abstract, new-modern look to promote ourself with our new thinking but this work is poor. This was the young persons games, open it up to all schools that are working on there "A levels" and this is our chance to see creative young diverse thinking across the UK. Then the country could make a choice because thats the olympic spirit not the professionals but amateur's.

  • Comment number 78.

    70. At 00:40 5th Nov 2011, Jelf wrote:
    I propose a new internet law, similar to 'Godwin's Law', dictating that "as a discussion about modern art grows longer, the probability of someone saying that their 5 year old could do better approaches 1"

    Bad idea, Godwin's law is about the nature of internet debates, and is worthwhile since it is not obvious (to anybody unfamiliar with newsgroups) that any argument would end up with a comparrison to Nazi Germany.

    On the other hand, having seen some of the efforts on display, it was completely obvious that the instant reaction to some of them would be "my N-year old" could do better, since it is a simple statement of fact.
    When I first watched the sideshow, I had not read the article, and assumed the second one was painted by a 5 year old.

    In the case of Bridget Riley's effort, I will give her the benefit of the doubt, and assume that when they take the cheap wrapping paper of it, the canvas will contain something that required talent.

  • Comment number 79.

    Whilst I fully appreciate that art has many forms, styles etc., surely the intent of an Olympic poster is to highlight the Games themselves not the artist, That being the case, with the exception of Anthea Hamilton's and Chris Ofili's works, the artists seem more interested in promoting themselves than the Games. It would have been better use of money to have had a national childrens poster competition, and I'm sure the results would have been more acceptable. In sort these posters are a waste of money - shame on those who approved the budgets.

  • Comment number 80.

    they are juvenile at best, how much did we taxpayers GIVE to these so called "artists"?
    no sign of London, and most totally incomprehensible !!!
    when did so called "modern" art overtake a good old constable or rembrandt??

    these people must be laughing all the way to the bank, and God knows what the world will be thinking of British people

  • Comment number 81.

    Lets face it, they're rubbish. They don't advertise the Olympics in any way so how can you even call them posters?! They don't promote Britain, they don't promote the Olympics, they just promote how rubbish our 'artist' have got in recent times, thinking they're so original and different when in reality they're just rubbish! I may be no artist, but i am a member of the common British public which is who these posters are for and i completely disagree with them and by the comments one here, i think a lot of people agree with me. Go get some real artists who can actually do something rather than throw some blue paint on a canvas or paint some lines that apparently represent speed?!

  • Comment number 82.

    Having just watched this article I felt so strongly I had to register and view my thoughts.
    When , if ever, are these so called experts going to realise that their closed little world has no contact with reality, having just listened to the absurd description given to the 'blue' image which, however you try and look at it is nothing more than a spilt paint blob that someone slipped on. The Emperor's new clothes is a story that these people really need to examine otherwise this worldwide cultural event, which has already cost far more than this country can afford, will only show the world that we are capable of transforming utter rubbish into 'art' (sic)

  • Comment number 83.

    I, like many others are somewhat underwhelmed, as expected, by the Olympic Posters. Some I think have merit through clear message delivery but others are completely inert and entirely without any sporting inspiration let alone artistic skill. In fact the more I consider it, I become more and more disallusioned with the art world of today. It focuses more on reputation than quality. I find the most bizarre work to be that created by Bridgit Riley. It reminds me of some 1970's wall paper or something bearing no relevance to the Olympics whatsoever. The work was defended on BBC breakfast TV by some art critic when challenged by a viewer that; if she had done the work and submitted it would it have been chosen on merit or was it the fact it was a Bridgit Riley. He didn't answer the question, here endeth the lesson.

  • Comment number 84.

    "Riley, who began her career using only black and white patterns, started to experiment with colour in 1967, the same year she began painting stripes. "

    She's been painting stripes for over 40 years. Ummm, ok. Time to move on dear !

    This is, as has been said multiple times, pretentious drivel.

  • Comment number 85.

    Really like Rachel Whiteread's piece - others have mentioned beer and bottles but to me it combines the Olympic rings with good ol' British tea stains! Hodgkin's is more subtle than it first appears and I can see why people would like it, but it's not really my thing. The rest look like perfectly good prints but they don't resonate for me with the essence of Britishness or the spectacle of the Olympics.

  • Comment number 86.

    What are these? I don't even...

  • Comment number 87.

    Thought-provoking? Guess what we all seem to be thinking...

  • Comment number 88.

    The circles design is a copy of a Paul Smith T-shirt I have (purchased about a year ago)
    Not exactly cutting edge when the design is copied from someone else !

  • Comment number 89.

    thought provking,, well i think they are all provoking one thought,, total pretenious trip!!!! are these people so insecure that they deliberately disregard showing any realism or direct reference to the actual event//?? its laughable.. the saddest thing is that the people who comissioned and judged them are too frightened to voice one iota of critisism from them. Does anyone in the 'art world' have any cohones to make any criticism of anyone else or do they spend all their time an wine an d cheese reception perpetuating the grabey train of back slapping. this stuff is dreadful shallow, pretenious twadle god help us all!!

  • Comment number 90.

    I like them. Some, Rachel Whiteread's in particular are stunning. For all the philistines who mock, go back to the Daily Mail and take yuor bigoted views off to which ever part of Little England you live in and die.

  • Comment number 91.

    Philistinism is a derogatory term used to describe a particular attitude or set of values perceived as despising or undervaluing art, beauty, spirituality, or intellectualism. A person with this attitude is referred to as a Philistine and may also be considered materialistic, favoring conventional social values unthinkingly and forms of art that have a cheap and easy appeal -
    The words cheap and easy relate more to the 'posters' than the comments posted here.
    I think the amateur critics are more accurate in their efforts than the professional artists.

  • Comment number 92.

    Shockingly bad taste. How can this even be presented to all national and international sports fans. Sure they could come up with something more relevant than that.

  • Comment number 93.

    I recently visited an exhibition of GCSE and A level art at my local secondary school and was extremely impressed with the high standard of technically difficult and imaginative work displayed. How can these students see the Olympic posters as something to aspire to emulate ?

    Art is subjective but how can we expect young, talented people to work hard for their exams when they see these thrown together offerings gaining national recognition.

    It seems the only say we will have is whether to buy one or not and I would rather donate the price of a poster to a struggling, dedicated young athlete than support this "artistic" insult to my intelligence.

  • Comment number 94.

    I wonder how many of us would be sued if we said what we really thought of this........ this....... this...... apologies but words flail me! One of the caught jesters describes his work as "representational pictures of emotional situations." Too true: as I find this particular lack of effort quite disturbing! At least one of them could be used as wrapping paper.

  • Comment number 95.

    I must admit i am no Art expert, but how can anyone justify that having 5 different size blocks together, painted in different Colours is Art?

    This is the kind of thing, Kids do in Nursery, and bring Home and tell their Parents look at what i did, arent i clever!!

    Or that Blue blob, it looks like someone is messing about with a Brush!!!!

    Seriously, are these "Artists" for real?

  • Comment number 96.

    Thank you for the opportunity to 'get out of my system' what I feel about these olympic posters!!! I was artist in film business over 40 years, advertising lettering, then design, animation, special effects...I am portrait painter and signwriter etc. etc. so I think I am in a position to give an 'informed opinion'!!!

    First there was the closing ceremony in China!!! I won't describe it again...truly it was indescribable!.....Utter, utter, disgraceful, embarrassment to every man woman and child in this nation of ours!!! Then came the (what did you call it again) logo...that was it you called it a logo...if you go to 1 minute you can whip round with the 'shape one' and immediately you will have a better shape than you have for 'logo' complete..utter...disgraceful... embarrassed...rubbish 'logo' (how much did it cost again??) Then came the ticket fiasco! we have...what do you call them....posters for the Olympics in Great Britain? I was hoping you were make out you have bought your loved one piece of paper with a bow round it...pretending it's the present...and then you bring out the beautiful big box with fabulous stuff inside!!!
    But no! It appears you are serious....arty farty (not even origianl) you scoff at repetition of obvious symbols...but these ridiculous pieces of junk are entirely predictable from their creators...these sort of images have been seen again and again...I myself created one of them only last week when I accidently put my tea down on my pallete and then when I moved it left a ring of colour on the table!!!
    Please, please cancel these posters...(another are refusing to tell us how much was paid...who the Hell do you think you are to do that!!!!!?????) Now we have the opening ceremony pending.....I am holding my head in shame already....Please God you will prove me wrong...but unless the people making these decisions are sacked immediately I predict the opening ceremony (especially when you remember all the wonderful ones that have gone before) will be a complete and utter disgrce and disaster which we will never live down!!! Please God I am proved wrong!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 97.

    I predict these paintings will make us the laughing stock of the world!!!!!

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    Shocking disgrace. I was particularly appalled by the extended podium usingnthencolours of the rings. It looks like something from my kids school.
    Inwasnsomexcited atbLondon getting these games. I remember sitting waiting for thedecisionninmsingapaort with my infant son and saying how wonderful it all would be. 7 years later we have had the ticket fiasco, a cultural Olympiad that has been a damp squib and that embarrassment in Beijing with Beecham and a London bus. I cringed. Now this rubbish. It is also deeply embarrassing and I fear, not for the games, they will be fabulous, but the ceremonies. Are we to have this type of cultural drivel or quite possibly worse, bowler hats, black cabs,beefeaters and how we won won the war....
    These poster however are simply childish drivel. Burn them.......please

  • Comment number 100.

    I wonder how much these Paintings will be worth the blue blob will probarly be valued in the Thousands.


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