Charles Billich: The Olympic Artist 06-22-2004 10:54

鈥淚 try to convey spiritual optimism and vitality; visual utopias. I want people to look higher, as much for their own sake as for the sake of the community.鈥 鈥淎s an artist, my pursuits are beauty and peace.鈥 These are the words of Charles Billich, the world鈥檚 Olympic artist. A strong believer that an artist should share the responsibility for the society, this Australian artist is one of the leading sports artists in the World today.

Charles Billich is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed artist from Australia--he is also the Official Sports Artist for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Billich's painting entitled "Beijing Cityscape" was the official image used by the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee in its bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games. With the success of the Beijing bid, Billich conceived a series of sensational images based on the 鈥淏ing Ma Yong鈥 terracotta warriors. These international treasures are being transposed by Billich into images of the New Millennium, imbuing them with a new life and an everlasting future.

Billich describes his work as surrealist, and states "I manipulate reality. I turn it into some kind of symbolic analysis which works on several levels of meaning. There is a touch of irony in what I paint as there is in all surreal art. It contains a fair amount of humor." He paints and draws in all media, and sculpts in precious and semi-precious metals.

Billich is the recipient of many prizes and awards, including the coveted Spoleto Prize in Italy. He was awarded "Order of the Eagle" for the International Appointment as "Sports Artist of the Year 2000" by the prestigious American Sports Academy, and was the official artist for the Australian Olympic Team at the Games of the XXVI Olympiad, the Melbourne Cup, and the Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix.

Billich editions and originals adorn boardrooms, galleries, and collections across five continents. Charles Billich has exhibited at some of the world's most renowned venues. As an honored guest and resident artist, he continues to travel the world to fulfill numerous commissions and projects.

His paintings explore themes reflecting his own obsessions, fantasies and thwarted ambitions; ballet and sport, architecture and town planning, stage and portraiture, and classicism and eroticism. It is from this latter category that we have selected six of Billich鈥檚 works to be included in this gallery.

A more comprehensive description of Billich's extraordinary 40-year painting career, and views of his famous sport works and other images, can be seen at his website (link at bottom of page).


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