Behind artist Sir Anish Kapoor's 2018 BRIT Award trophy
Find out how the BRITS took on high art as sculptor Kapoor becomes the latest collaborator
London's The O2 Arena is preparing for the BRIT Awards to hit the capital on Wednesday 21 February, and there is plenty to be excited about – from comedian Jack Whitehall taking on hosting duties for the first time, to a host of stellar performances from the likes of Justin Timberlake and Ed Sheeran. But for art-lovers, the biggest draw of the night is less centred on its musical guests and more on the artistic collaboration between the BRITs and Turner Prize winning sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor.
The contemporary trophy sees the iconic BRIT statuette, of a female figure wearing a Spartan helmet, encased within a striking blood red rectangular prism. Rendered in metallic (metallic what? metallic texture? please find out specifics), the award references Kapoor’s staple use of mirrored materials in his work. Speaking of his appointment, Kapoor said: “I am pleased to have designed the BRIT award for 2018. Sculpture is often a process of positive and negative form. I have made the award using both.”
Kapoor's trophy design has been considered so striking that his work is also the inspiration for the BRITs Official Aftershow Party in partnership with Tempus, which will be held at the Intercontinental London – The O2 immediately after the ceremony. BRITs Chairman Jason Iley said of Kapoor's appointment: “Sir Anish has created some of the most adventurous and memorable works of our lifetime, which is reflected in the new BRIT award. He constantly challenges the norm and I love the way he has reimagined this year’s award. The beauty of this award is that it challenges perspectives. Every which way you look at it, you discover more.”
Regarded as one of the most successful British-Indian sculptors of his generation, Kapoor has resided in London since the early 1970s, studying at the Chelsea School of Art and Design. Famous for pushing artistic boundaries and public sculptures that reference adventures and engineering, some of his previous work includes the famous 178-meter ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture for the 2012 London Olympics, which still stands at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and Cloud Gate, the incredible mirrored centrepiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in Chicago.
While the BRITs celebrate the best in musical creativity, the awards also have a major link to the worlds of fashion and art too. Kapoor is the first sculptor to have designed the famous award and he’s in very good company as previous trophies been designed by some of the most prolific artists of our time. Previous designers have included world-renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid, who constructed an elegant white and fluid design in 2017; artist Tracey Emin, who in 2015 produced a graffitied angel-like statuette; Damien Hirst's colourful polka dot trophy; and fashion designers Dame Vivienne Westwood and Phillip Treacy.