In September, the ARTUNITES exhibition transformed the international NGO GAME into a vibrant art exhibition space. Although the exhibition lasted a single weekend, ARTUNITES left a permanent mark on the organization, which is known for its commitment to street sports and voluntary social work. That, in the form of a mural that runs across the wall in the entrance of GAME.
The artist behind the piece is Anton Ian Nielsen, who has transformed the gray walls of GAME’s entrance into a colorful narrative. Today, visitors to GAME are welcomed by imaginative creatures that merge in shape and color across the wall. With big eyes looking out, they draw the viewer in, taking you up the stairs and into GAME.
Sports and art united in ‘Infinite Games’
If you look closely, you’ll notice that the depiction of a basketball is repeated in the mural – a tribute to basketball, which is a crucial part of GAME’s everyday life. Sport in general has been an important source of inspiration for the work. Here, Anton Ian Nielsen explains how he sees art and sport as connected:
“Art and sport have in common that the framework is defined by materials or rules of the game. Then you are free to play or express yourself. If you think it’s cool, you keep doing it. If not, you stop. If it’s fun, it’s often because you find ways to do things your own way; you find a certain freedom in the set framework of the game or activity,” he says and continues:
“An infinite game is one where the goal is not necessarily fixed, but you keep going because of the joy of the challenge. Hence the name: ‘Infinite Games’. An invitation to enter a space you don’t want to leave.”
At GAME, the atmosphere is filled with children and young people pursuing their passion for street basketball, street football, dance and parkour. They’ve entered a space they don’t want to leave again, and that’s the mood the mural tries to capture.
Step into a world of freedom and connection
This mural is more than just colors on a wall – with his brushstrokes, Anton Ian Nielsen is trying to convey messages of freedom and connection.
“The work should inspire you to step into another world. A world where you can be yourself in a new way and make new connections,” says Anton Ian Nielsen about the deeper meaning behind his artwork.
“My work is often about making connections between characters, shapes, colors and ideas. With the work ‘Infinite Games’, I try to show the connections that urban sports and activities can create between the players and on a societal level, bridging the otherwise unconnected,” he explains.
When art makes a difference
The artwork was made possible thanks to the support of paint retailer Flügger Farver. With wall paint in particularly green, pink and orange tones, they gave free rein to the artist.
“At Flügger, colors and creativity are very close to our hearts. We love the things that make the world more colorful,” says Mia Elisabeth Tvenge, Creative Manager at Flügger Farver and Head of SVP Marketing at Flügger Farver, Peter Møllebjerg Andersen adds:
“That’s why we choose to support the artists of tomorrow whenever we can. When they create things that tell their stories and create something that makes a difference.”
You can see the mural at GAME at the location of GAME Streetmekka Copenhagen, a paved street sports house at Enghavevej 82 in Copenhagen.
See more of Anton Ian’s work here.
Anton Ian Nielsen is a Danish artist who comments on his time using symbols and icons from popular culture. He often creates works with a sense of humor and uses a colorful palette that draws inspiration from art history, graphic design, street art and popular culture. His works often depict animals and people in existential situations. Fin out more on Instagram: @anton_ian.