The LSU football team, also known as the Fighting Tigers, are the center of much student social life. As is the case with most state universities, football is absolutely huge, and the games serve to bring together the entire campus. Brian Finke’s bright, bold, graphic images expertly reflect the energy, enthusiasm, and often the absurdity of the events.
Finke first made a name for himself over ten years ago photographing high school cheerleaders and football players, which culminated in his first monograph, “2-4-6-8” (Umbrage Editions). So college football (and all that surrounds it) was a natural extension of this earlier work.
While Finke certainly shoots with a sense of humor, his photographs are never judgmental or harsh – - he seems to appreciate the hilarity of all the goings-on, while being able to recognize and highlight the best of the outlandishness. Whether one was ever a member of this community or not, the spirit of celebration is almost palpable when looking at Finke’s pictures. And for those living outside the United States, these photographs offer a fascinating glimpse into a genuine American tradition.
by Brian Paul Clamp, Director ClampArt
The Saint Louis Art Museum’s new exhibitions, An Orchestrated Vision currently on view through May 13, 2012, features “Untitled, Football 106″ from my series 2468: American Cheerleaders and Football Players.