Taju – FIFA World Cup Official Fine Art

by Cindy Paul

Taju is one of the artists whose work carries the prestigious acknowledgement of 2010 FIFA World Cup Official Licensed Products.

Taju creates appealing pictures of cartoon-like stick figures out of cotton rag mixed media. These figures are all displayed in various stages of animation during the popular game of soccer. They wear the usual shorts, soccer shoes with cleats, and tee shirts, and there’s always a black-and-white soccer ball somewhere around them on the canvas. But that is where the similarity to real life stops.

The Taju soccer player has very thin arms and legs with small rectangles to indicate the hands, elbows and knees. Their faces are reminiscent of deer, or possibly reindeer, since they all have what looks like antlers or antennae coming out of the tops of their heads.

One of the most startling aspects of Taju’s soccer players is that they all have only one eye. The eye is a big white circle with a small black circle inside of it, and it’s almost always placed, not in the middle of the forehead, as for a cyclops, but on one side, the left.

"Soccer Players 5" is a good example of Taju’s iconic work. It represents something of a departure from his norm, since the one eye on one of the soccer players depicted is placed in the center of the face.

Soccer fans the world over can recognize a Taju piece at a glance, because of their unique figures and the similarity between each work in his amazing collection.