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Interview David Diehl


Who is David Diehl?

I’m a free artist, freelance illustrator, football addict, art teacher, husband, father of 3.


Where do you reside?

I live and work in Zürich, Switzerland


Which athlete do you get out of bed to watch? And why?

For me it is not necessary to get out of bed to watch my favourite athletes. I usually watch games of European leagues, which play in the afternoon or in the evening. No need to get out of bed! But I would come out of bed at any time if I could see Socrates play again. And Maradona. And Francescoli.


Which sports team gets your blood pumping? And why?

I am a supporter of my hometowns club and there are many reasons to get beyond control. At the moment not many good reasons unfortunately though....


Do you play sports yourself?

I used to play, but now I run.


Who’s your favourite artist?  And why?

Oh, there are so many I like....difficult to choose one.

If I have to I would say Caravaggio. Or maybe Per Kirkeby. Or Malick Sidibé.


What was the key moment your love for art grew?

Well, art has always been a part of my life, there is no real key moment. It was just always normal to do that. I have been drawing, painting, printing, cutting since I was a child. This is my passion and my profession.


How did your love for sports come about?

I have always been a football fan. I have to say that I'm not so much interested in other sports. I like the game as sort of poetry, I understand very much in a Galeano-way. I also like the atmosphere in the stadium, the sounds, the smell.


When did sport become a subject of your own art?

I am doing works with football-based themes since about ten years.


What is David Diehl’s style?

I cut papers, I paint. I like icons, circles, used things, art, religion-aesthetics, mountains, football. I think, the mixture of all these things I'm interested in make my style.


And how did you get this style? Or did the style choose you?

If you follow the thing you are interested in and don't try to imitate someone else you automatically will develop your own style - but this may take some years. I don't think much about that.


Where do you create your artworks?

I have a studio near our appartment, I work there.


I absolutely love the ikonen series. How did you come up with this series? What inspired you? And which ikon did you make first?

The basis of this series of course is the connection between religion and football. Religion and football have many similarities, stadiums are the new cathedrals and so on. The first icons I did were Rolf Osterwalder and Charly Herberth, two of my childhoodheroes, players of my hometown team in the mid 80s when I was a kid. There is not so much glory in relation with those two and so there was also some irony in this work. These icons have been published in a Swiss football magazine in 2013 and so the thing came running. I have done over 30 ikonen now. Most of them are commissions.


What is your favourite sport artwork you made?  

I guess my favourite piece still is the Socrates icon I made. But its sold. I also like the Pirlo one which – until now – I resist to sell.


If somebody wants to see your work in real life, where do they have to go?

Commissions and illustrations for magazines I do internationally, but exhibitions mainly in Switzerland. I also did murals, but also only here. This may change someday :) 


Which sport, sports team or athlete has always been on your mind, and is on the list to make a work of?

I will repeating doing work of Socrates. He has been a very interesting and intelligent person. I'm preparing to do one about the "Democracia Corinthiana".


Which sport artist/colleague of yours do we have to check out?

I’m a member of the Wundergol artist collective. They are all great – you need to check their work! I especialy love Paine Proffits work.


If you could choose one athlete you could make art with together for a day and he would teach you his skills, who would it be? And why?

I don’t know if I would like to do that.... :)


Julius Caesar used to say (freely translated): “Give the people bread and games, and they will be quiet.” If you were Julius for a day, wanted to keep everybody relaxed, what food and which games would you give them?

I neither like Julius Caesar nor do I want to be in his place nor have to tell other people what to do.


When I say “Art loves Sport” what’s the first thing that pops up in your mind?

Love is always great.


It is! Thanks David for your inspiring answers!


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