Discover the RG19 poster!

Spanish artist José Maria Sicilia was entrusted with the creation of the 40th official poster in the history of the tournament.

Affiche Roland-Garros 2019 / Poster Jose Maria Sicilia©Jose Maria Sicilia - Galerie Lelong & Co/FFT2019

This modern artist created an abstract piece that is both technical and poetic. He is the seventh Spanish artist to design the poster for Roland-Garros.

Though the colour ochre always evokes the Parisian Grand Slam, it is likely to be the only aspect of this year’s poster that immediately makes you think of Roland Garros. The piece, created from an original collage, is like a jigsaw puzzle whose intense red pieces are scattered over the canvas. 

“I remember the emotions I felt"

This unusual poster expresses the sounds of a tennis match in images. The artist employed the creative process of synaesthesia, which associates one sense with another, to create this collage. “I’d describe myself as a translator. I try to bring out the colour of sounds. I also paid attention to the bouncing of the balls and the shots, to the silence and even the applause,” the artist explains. Here, this storm of sounds is transformed into an array of colours.

José Maria Sicilia also delved into his childhood memories to produce the piece. “As a child, I would listen to Roland Garros matches on the radio. I remember the emotions I felt as I listened to these encounters. In 1961, I was 7 years old and I clearly remember the final between Santana and Pietrangeli. For me, Roland Garros is also a childhood story,”he says.

Who's the artist?

José Maria Sicilia lives and works in Madrid. Born in 1954, he grew up under the dictatorship of General Franco, who was near the end of his life. His summer holidays in the monastery town of El Escorial, at the foot of the Guadarrama mountains, were punctuated by the sound of Angelus bells and the State radio, leaving him with deep-rooted memories that would form a pattern for his work.

In 1975, he joined the San Fernando school of fine art in Madrid. Moving to Paris in 1980, he held his first exhibition then left for New York in 1985. In 1989, Sicilia received the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas award from the Spanish Ministry of Culture. Though he is known as one of the figureheads of Spanish figurative art, nowadays he is constantly renewing his artistic approach.

Between abstraction and figuration

Renowned for his unusual creation techniques, José Maria Sicilia remains loyal to his method, which lies somewhere between abstraction and figuration. He now works with computer tools, graphically interpreting sounds and waves that are invisible to the naked eye to make stunningly beautiful creations.

His work features in important public and private collections across Europe, the United States (MoMA and Guggenheim in New York) and Asia. He regularly collaborates with resident artists in Japan, alongside victims of the tsunami.