Sunday Times

Career built on painting Maradona is artist’s goal


● Maxi Bagnasco says he knows Diego Maradona’s features by heart after painting portraits of the soccer star almost daily since the Argentine World Cup winner died in November last year.

The artist, who creates lifelike paintings with spray paint on huge canvases, decided to make Maradona his niche after the outpouring of grief over the footballer’s death.

“I am not afraid of being pigeonhole­d, I believe that what everyone sees from me is the hand of God,” Bagnasco said with a smile, a reference to Maradona’s famous goal against England at the 1986 World Cup, which Argentina went on to win.

“I think Maradona will accompany me in other projects that I do.” Bagnasco has been using his phone to copy photograph­s of Maradona, who has cult-like status in Argentina, where he was nicknamed “D10S”, a play on the Spanish word for God that incorporat­es the number 10 shirt he wore as a player.

In Buenos Aires, Bagnasco showed off 20 paintings of Maradona, including a large rendering of a famous pose of the silky striker in his blue-and-white Argentina jersey.

A black-and-white painting showed a young Maradona with long hair.

In another, the player holds aloft the

World Cup trophy.

Another reflected Maradona’s wilder side, showing him puffing on a cigar in front of a huge Argentine flag.

Bagnasco, who said he knew he wanted to be an artist at age nine when he won a contest copying a Vincent van Gogh painting, hopes to auction off the works.

He said there has been strong demand and social media interest in his art.

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