Paris Saint-Germain Foundation launches fundraising partnership with Underdogs
The Parisian club’s Foundation is teaming up with the Underdogs cultural platform as part of a program to finance its charity programmes that have been disturbed by the pandemic. This lays the foundations for a new economic model with the goal of raising 500 000 euros over three years.
The Paris Saint-Germain Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Since its creation, it has helped 250,000 children and carried out over 6,000 projects, but its financial resources have become strained due to the current health crisis and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to compensate for the money that would have been raised at the annual Gala Dinner, the Paris Saint-Germain Foundation has set up a collaboration with some major names from the contemporary art world that will run over several years.
The PSG Foundation approached Underdogs, the Lisbon-based cultural platform created by Vhils, one of the stars of the urban art world, that works with artists connected with the new languages of urban-inspired graphic and visual culture, helping establish a close relationship between creators and the city.
“Our idea was to release a series of limited edition, numbered pieces of artwork, in collaboration with top contemporary artists, explains Fabien Allègre, Director of Brand Diversification at Paris Saint-Germain. I immediately thought of Underdogs and of Vhils, whose talent and reputation are universal, as well as his expertise in terms of distribution and commitment. What we really want to do is to reach new audiences, younger people, collectors, and to raise as much money as possible in order to finance the Foundation’s projects, through innovative initiatives such as this one.”
For a long time, but particularly since 2011 when Paris Saint-Germain was bought by QSI, partnerships and collaborations with international artists, creators, sculptors and musicians have been part of Paris Saint-Germain’s brand expression.
Pauline Foessel, Co-founder of Underdogs: “For the past 10 years, Underdogs has supported a generation of artists from Portugal and the world, giving opportunities to artists who started in urban spaces to grow and reach the recognition they deserve. It is a great honour for us to participate in this fundraising for the Paris Saint-German Foundation and to continue our mission of spreading urban inspired contemporary art and encouraging young adults to find their role in our societies.”
This project is based on a common model in the contemporary art world : drops. These involve releasing an original, limited edition, numbered work of art whose subject is Paris, on a specific day. What is unusual about it is the Underdogs’ support of the Paris Saint-Germain Foundation’s project and its flexibility.
Four exclusive pieces created by different artists will be released between December 2020 and June 2021. The first, which will be dropped on 9th December, is an artist limited edition silkscreen print by Vhils.
Vhils quote: “I am very honoured to take part in this fundraising and to be able to contribute to the Foundation activities. In the face of the difficult times we are experiencing, it becomes increasingly urgent to reach out to those in need. Thus, the importance of projects like the Paris Saint-Germain Foundation and the unwavering work it develops with underprivileged children, young adults and communities. For this collaboration with the Paris Saint-Germain Foundation and Underdogs, I created an edition that represents our defiance, as humanity, to what we are facing at the moment and to the aftermath of it. The defiant woman’s gaze symbolises our capability to rise again, to stand up and fight the challenges ahead. This image was inspired by several impressions collected on my last trip to Paris earlier this year, by its streets and all the different things you can find while rambling around the city - images, typography, sculptures.”
Fabien Allègre: “Paris Saint-Germain is extremely proud to work with Vhils and Underdogs, which are both spearheads for the contemporary art world. Never before has a football club worked so closely with a major international artist to help sick and disadvantaged children. Football, Paris and their popular, symbolic representations are at the heart of this project.”
Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils, is an internationally renowned Portuguese artist. He is mainly known for his portraits carved into the walls of buildings in cities such as Lisbon, Moscow or Paris, where Vhils has created no fewer than six works of art in the last ten years. His work in the Chardon-Lagache and Necker hospitals is designed to entertain the children who are being treated in these hospitals. His technique, which is similar to engraving, reveals the history of the walls, the cities, layer after layer, like a palimpsest. In his work, Vhils examines the memories of working-class areas and the stories of their inhabitants, weaving in figurative images and geometric patterns. A huge football fan and active campaigner for young and impoverished people in Portugal, he knows how to give meaning to everything he does. These values tie in perfectly with those of the Paris Saint-Germain Foundation.
Underdogs is a cultural platform based in Lisbon, Portugal, that works with artists connected with the new languages of urban-inspired graphic and visual culture, helping establish a close relationship between creators and the city for the enjoyment of all. Established in 2010 and consolidated in its present form in 2013, the Underdogs project rests on four complementary areas: a Gallery with an innovative exhibitions programme; the production of original and affordable artist Editions; a Public Art programme that aims at promoting art as an everyday experience, complemented with a scheme of guided tours and an educational service; and the development of commissioned art projects.