Buenos Aires, Nov 25 (EFE).- Two years after the death of Diego Armando Maradona at the age of 60, a giant mural chronicling the life of the Argentine soccer legend was inaugurated here Friday.
Measuring 28.75 m (94 ft) long and 3.9 m (13 ft) tall, “Una gambeta a la vida” (Dodging through life) took artist Gustavo Rovira 20 months to complete.
“I work spontaneously and tried to assemble the work figuring out the proportions and knowing the development in advance,” he tells EFE. “It is made with mixed techniques, oil and acrylic.”
Rovira’s research took him to Maradona’s childhood home in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of the capital, where he collected samples of the grass and soil that he used for each of the stadiums depicted on the mural.
For the panel depicting No. 10 hoisting the World Cup trophy in Mexico in 1986, the artist used 23-carat gold laminate in the figures of the trophy and of the sun overhead, which bears the outlines of Maradona’s famous “hand of God” goal.
The project received support of the Baccigalupo, founded by paddle tennis champion in 2003 with the aim of using sport as a “tool for the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.”
Rovira’s mural adorns walls in Plaza Seeber, where every match of World Cup 2022 in Qatar can be viewed on giant screens along with films about the Argentine national team.
Throughout “Una gambeta a la vida,” the artist has inserted collages of newspaper stories documenting each of Maradona’s victories with the national team and with clubs such as Boca Juniors and Napoli.
“This work really excites me. I employed the spontaneity like he had on the pitch, that lightning he had in his feet and that mental velocity,” Rovira says. “I tried to imitate him with the painting. I feel a little Diego – he with the left foot and me with the right hand.”
The first panel shows an angel leaving a soccer ball at the feet of a young Maradona and the last depicts the angel accompanying him to the gates of heaven.
Maradona died on Nov. 25, 2020, of a pulmonary edema and a chronic heart condition. EFE aam/dr