An artistic tribute to three OL-groomed World Champions
On top of the world ... and on the walls of Lyon. Champions of the 2018 World Cup with France, the OL-groomed Nabil Fekir, Corentin Tolisso, Samuel Umtiti and their exploits were immortalized on a mural located at the exit of the Croix-Rousse tunnel. A stunning visual tribute created in just a few days by Julien and Vincent, the two artists of the Lyon collective ArtUp. "We got authorization for six months from the owner of the wall to paint a large mural and gain visibility because it’s a perfect location,” said Julien. The inspired idea came to the duo on the night of the World Final, during Les Bleus’ 4-2 win over Croatia. "We were watching the game together. After the final whistle, we immediately said we had to do something for our world champions.”
Some 20 meters long and 2.5 meters high, the mural was a huge undertaking for both artists. "We didn’t waste any time. We did the models on Monday and bought the equipment on Tuesday. By Wednesday, we had the drawings done and painted from Thursday through Saturday.” Despite a forced break on Friday due to thundershowers, Julien and Vincent got the job done quickly. "This job should have taken at least three weeks. But it had to be done quickly due to the excitement of the World Cup."
The two street artists can’t say for sure how many hours they dedicated to the project. “When you love something, you don’t count,” is their answer. Passionate about street-art, football and OL, they simply combined all their passions for an explosive result. "We have been supporters of OL since we were very young. We grew up with the club… we also saw Nabil, Coco and Sam grow up. OL is our passion, our club.”
The quote “Proud to be Lyonnais" that also adorns the mural hasn’t gone unnoticed in the capital of Gaul. “There was a real happiness. There was excitement… People honked their horns at us, cheered us on, and took pictures. We didn’t expect this type of reaction.” What could make things even sweeter for Julien and Vincent? “We want the players to pose for a picture in front of the mural. It would be a dream and a source of pride. We also hope they’re proud of the mural… We love OL."