Are you ready for some football—and some intricate, three-dimensional pop art? Before all eyes are glued to the field this Super Bowl Sunday, February 2, sports fans can take in the colorful, intricate work of the big game's official artist, SVA alumnus Charles Fazzino (BFA 1977 Media Arts). Fazzino's vibrant and richly detailed scenes depict the local cityscape, host stadium and festive atmosphere of the event each year and have been featured at every Super Bowl since 2001. He also designs posters, merchandise and special commemorative helmets, working with the National Football League to promote their collaboration.
"My work should evoke the whole Super Bowl experience—the excitement, all of the pomp and celebration," Fazzino says. "For those who were there, it's a reminder of how they felt and what they did. For those who were not, it's a way to internalize the experience."
"He brings an event alive," Leo Kane, then NFL senior vice president of consumer products, told CBS News in 2013.
Fazzino's "3D pop art" style is the result of a time-intensive, multi-stage process, one that draws inspiration from pop-up books, printmaking and paper tolling as well as the collage-sculptures of artist Red Grooms. After finalizing his preparatory sketch (and in the case of the Super Bowl, sending the drawing to the NFL for approval), Fazzino makes a silk-screened color copy of the image. Two more layers are then meticulously cut out by hand by Fazzino and his staff, mounted onto heavier boards to create the 3D effect, and often finished with glitter and Swarovski crystals.
"It's a lot of fun for me to watch people's reactions to [the art] after all these years," Fazzino says. "Everyone goes crazy over the 3D." He has been tapped for artwork by other high-profile pop culture events, including the Grammy Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards, and Major League Baseball's All-Star Game.
This year's Super Bowl will be in Miami, where fans will have the chance to view Fazzino's entire Super Bowl collection, as well as other limited-edition releases, at various Wentworth Galleries locations. Additionally, Fazzino will join NFL players for signing events at the NFL Shop in the Super Bowl Experience, to be held alongside an exhibition of his work and this year's merchandise. The Hard Rock Stadium will also have an exhibition up on game day.
Check out Fazzino's website, fazzino.com, for more and look for his kaleidoscopic creations this Super Bowl Sunday, when the San Francisco 49ers face off against the Kansas City Chiefs.