Common Practice seeks to examine the ways in which contemporary art relates with the sport and surrounding culture of basketball.
Basketball has long proven to inform and inspire works of art across generations, from David Hammon’s “Higher Goals” and Robert Indiana’s “Mecca Floor”, to the current day works of Nina Chanel Abney and Titus Kaphar. Many of the artists represented have at one point or more throughout their practice shared an interest in utilizing the ubiquity of basketball iconography as a means to shine a light on issues of social inequality, political justice and other formidable cultural commentary.
This publication serves as a journey to further understand basketball not only as a physical activity played between a series of lines, but to see the game outside of those lines through the wider lens of art. One hope is to advance the idea, especially for young people, that both artists and athletes have more in common than one might believe, and in doing so further disseminate the idea that creativity is not exclusive to just one type of person, but something we all have an intrinsic accessibility to.
“Common Practice” is a colloquial term in every sense. The irony of joining the two contrasting worlds of art and basketball is a play on this idea, the thread between them being practice: “to perform an activity or exercise regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency”. It is precisely this underlying need to rehearse, discover and explore through the act of doing, that makes these two very different ideas of perfecting one’s craft, much the same.