News Column

Photos tell the story at new World Cup art exhibit

June 19, 2014

By Kerri Kelleher, Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass.

June 19--DENNIS -- A new art installation at the Cape Cod Art Museum could pull even the most diehard soccer fan away from this summer's FIFA World Cup tournament.

"Elements of Passion: A soccer fan watches the World Cup" is a photographic installation by street photographer and soccer aficionado John Babineau. The series of photos depicts the events of the 1998 World Cup and encompasses the emotional journey for teams, officials and fans.

"It was just one of those typical art projects that gains a life of its own without really a particular destination in mind," Babineau said.

In the summer of 1998, Babineau was watching the World Cup tournament on television when he had the idea to photograph the matches from his living room. Using a studio camera and black and white film, he captured the events and emotions of the game much like if he had been at the stadiums. As the negatives accumulated, soon it was not just a series of shots, it was a commentary on the "artistry of the game itself," he said.

"There's a description that the Brazilian players use: 'o jogo bonito, the beautiful game,'" Babineau said, "They try to entertain the crowd with often dancelike maneuvers. They create something out of nothing and I think that can be related closely to art."

After looking over the black-and-white shots, Babineau chose to display the images in colors that corresponded with the expressions shown by the subjects. The gallery is filled with red photographs of victory and blue images of defeat.

"I ended up with a whole bunch of images, the joys of the game, the sadness of the game, the game itself," Babineau said.

Each image in the exhibit shows the on-field action complete with the rounded edges and horizontal lines of the television screen.

"I think it's extraordinary. His application, his design, his interest. I think the exhibit brings a lot of recognition to the World Cup and soccer," said Michael A. Giaquinto, Cape Cod Museum of Art curator . Although groups of the photographs have been showcased in sports bars and coffee shops all around the country, this is the first time all of the shots will be exhibited together.

Babineau, who lives in South Yarmouth, first picked up a camera when he was 11 and, more than 50 years later, has taken thousands of photographs and exhibited his work throughout Washington D.C., New York City, Boston and Cape Cod.

Although he played recreational soccer as a child, Babineau's passion for the sport didn't fully emerge until the Vietnam War when he was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. At the suggestion of his German landlord, Babineau became involved in the local soccer league. Refereeing, playing, coaching, spectating, Babineau is a jack-of-all-trades for the sport.

With both the exhibit and the World Cup tournament well underway, Babineau hopes that his photos attract both sports enthusiasts and art lovers alike.

"I'd like people to come see the photographs and see that it is soccer, it is the World Cup, and that we can turn a sporting event into an art commentary," Babineau said.


(c)2014 the Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Mass.)

Visit the Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Mass.) at

Distributed by MCT Information Services

For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel

Source: Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, MA)

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters