“I am connected to the sports world”. Interview with artist Richard Orlinski

May 10, 2022 at 7:50 am by Nicolas Toison

Richard Orlinski describes himself as a “360 artist”, who does not leave the sport untouched in the creative process. Photos @RichardOrlinski

The NFT series just launched by Spanish footballer Andres Iniesta, he contributed to it. He will participate in the “hero competition”, this Tuesday evening in Lyon, in collaboration with UNICEF, not without having created the trophies for the second edition. And the Formula 1 Grand Prix de France, scheduled for July, will once again be the source of the prizes awarded to the three winners on the podium.

If Richard Orlinski is considered the most bankable artist in the country, his side necessarily touches everything for something. Sport is a field that inspires him and the athletes, for some of them personalities close to him. The next deadlines, football (World 2022), tennis (Davis Cup), or the Olympic Games scheduled in Paris, give him desires that he evokes in us. Maintenance…

Who is behind these NFTs with Andres Iniesta?

Richard Orlinski: It was his teams that came to see me and suggested that I make a joint work with him. The project, they had it before they contacted me. They had designs made and I came to do the very rare series.

New to working on NFTs?

Richard Orlinski: Not at all. I already launched my collection with Binance (largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world), several drops, so I was already familiar. On the other hand a collaboration in this sector there yes it is.

Are NFTs the future of art?

Richard Orlinski: Non-fungible tokens are a way to move art into a virtual world, such as the metaverse. I remain very attached to the “physical” because it remains the real life. We eat, we read, we drink in the real world, and not in another universe, so there’s still interest in keeping a physical side, but yes, it’s the future. It is something that is an integral part of art, but not only. This is also the case for video games, sports and many other areas, and it makes it very interesting.

You have many other collaborations with the sports world, does this universe inspire you?

Richard Orlinski: Yes, I am a 360 artist and for me sport is part of art. In football, if you look at a player without looking at his face, you recognize his way of playing. There is a very artistic side. I am connected to the sports world. I do trophies for F1, including the French GP, so I still have a passion for sport. It is also very complementary. Be it football, judo, rugby, tennis, there are bridges between all areas. I try to mix everything: sports, music, art. It is something that is virtuous. Today we can no longer do without sports.

Are you sporty yourself?

Richard Orlinski: Yes, I have played soccer since I was little. I also played rugby, tennis and a bit of running, although football and tennis continue to dominate. I appreciate the side of competition and self-transcendence. It goes beyond physical activity, and it’s something that plays on the psyche, which is very important.

What relationship do you have with the athletes? Are you particularly close to certain numbers?

Richard Orlinski: Through my work I have relationships with people from the sports world, such as Teddy Riner in judo, Karim Benzema, Presnel Kimbempe or Sergio Ramos in football. I think I have contacts in many different disciplines. I like football more, so of course I know more footballers. But it’s not just about sports. I just made a sculpture of Mohamed Ali. This is a new creation, on the occasion of the launch of a project, in a legendary boxing gym.

Do you make different versions for the French GP trophies every year?

Richard Orlinski: Yes, because that also changes, depending on the sponsor. One year it could be Pirelli, the next Emirates… You have to adapt to the brand. Usually I have an idea, and then we make changes based on those brands. If there is no sponsor, like this year I think, we can do something summery. The idea is to find dynamic things that pilots like to wear at home. Trophies are often not pretty, which is why I do a lot of them, whether it’s for music, the Bocuse d’Or (cooking), or a bike race from two years ago.

What will happen to your event productions, such as the Kong des Bleus at Euro 2016, in France?

Richard Orlinski: It is sold, re-exhibited or transformed. There are no rules there either. We are very open.

Are you refusing projects?

Richard Orlinski: Full. This may be due to a lack of ability, time, or will. There are things I don’t do, like weight loss, sex… It’s just not my thing. I’ll leave that to other artists. I want to do things that are visible to everyone.

Is there a project related to sports that has drawn you in particular?

Richard Orlinski: I’ve done a lot, but right now I’m on the trophy for Unicef, for a good cause, as part of the “Heroes match”. The first was Marseille, last year, this time in Lyon (next Tuesday at Groupama Stadium, editor’s note). I’m the one who made the trophy and I think it’s interesting because it’s for a good cause, for kids all over the world, so I’m proud of that. It is a noble purpose that will please me more than something that will have a commercial purpose.

How many people work for you?

Richard Orlinski: 250

Are you working on other upcoming projects in addition to the Unicef ​​project?

Richard Orlinski: I’m on a project with Qatar for the World Cup, we haven’t finalized it yet, but it’s progressing fast. I am also involved in the Rugby World Cup 2023 and other projects such as the Davis Cup in tennis or the 2024 Olympics.

Are you already working on projects like the Olympics?

Richard Orlinski: Yes, I had already made a sculpture the moment we won the candidacy, I had given a concert on this occasion in front of the forecourt of the City Hall of Paris. I had also made a monumental sculpture, focused on the Olympics. We look at the event itself, because it is something important.