Badiucao's Olympic-Inspired Protest Art Continues a Long Trend
While this NFT experiment is certainly a modern moment of today's times, the idea of street art or cartoons used to target the Olympics is not. Of course, the global phenomenon that is the Games, carrying the global audience, expense, and self-purported lofty goals of unity, is always bound to attract scrutiny.
Typically, protest art has mined the issues of potential environmental destruction, the exploding expenses, the "sports-washing" of host abuses, or bloated infrastructure. At times, hosts even seem to too readily open themselves up...the militarization against student activists just ahead of Mexico City 1968 and the razing of favelas to clean up Rio 2016's image were tailor-made for artistic objection.
The Olympics can be problematic. I get it - too big, too lofty, too expensive, too ripe for authoritarian abuse. But like Jenkins was, I am a "sucker for the branding". I remain a fan.
But I also enjoy a good piece of Olympic satire. My favorite? It might be Criminal Chalkist's "100 meter Dash 2011" appearing in Bristol ahead of London 2012, and considered a rebuke of Olympic commercialization.