The National Soccer Hall of Fame in Dallas recently opened, putting art professor, Jacob Burmood’s latest work on full display.
The Kick is an abstract representation of a bicycle kick executed by Edson Arantes do Nascimento, also known as Pelé. It represents athletic excellence, as well as the global nature of the game.
Clark and Dan Hunt, who own FC Dallas, commissioned the piece. They hired Paul Dorrell, founder of the Leopold Gallery, as the consultant. Dorrell had previously worked with the Hunts while creating art for the Kansas City Chiefs. Dorrell recommended Burmood to the Hunts.
“I made a presentation for Jacob Burmood’s sculpture to the Hunts last January and they just loved it,” said Dorrell. “Clark asked me if we could do something figurative for this new Soccer Hall of Fame in Dallas and I said, ‘sure’.”
The Hunts only guideline was that they wanted the sculpture to depict a bicycle kick, the most spectacular play in soccer.
“They knew enough to let us design and just give us the design challenge,” said Dorrell.
Depicting a bicycle kick allowed Burmood to show the beauty of soccer in its most exciting moments.
“The bicycle kick is definitely an impressive position and it’s such a flourish of grace and power that happens in just a flash of a moment,” said Burmood.
After he was hired, the hard work for Burmood began. He started off by doing research and sketching some drawings. He then moved on to creating a maquette, or a small model.
After getting feedback and settling on a design, Burmood made a 3-D scan and printed an enlarged model made of foam. When moving from a maquette to a larger model, many aspects of the design can change and need to be accounted for.
“I ended up cutting off all the arms and legs and reattaching them in different positions,” said Burmood.
When Burmood finalized his design, he coated it in a layer of fiberglass and then another made of aluminum. He worked with a structural engineer to make sure the creation was precise and that it would be able to withstand wind and other elements. After it was completed, they drove down to Dallas where it was ready to be installed.
“The installation went really smoothly, and I was kind of amazed to see how energized everybody was about it,” said Burmood.
Dorrell also described the scene when several international soccer executives laid eyes on The Kick.
“All of them, their mouths just dropped open,” said Dorrell. “They just thought it was utterly fantastic.”
In the end the sculpture took Burmood over 1,000 hours to create. Dorrell, who compares his role as consultant to that of a book editor to a novelist, also put in a few hundred hours’ worth of work during the process.
The Kick stands as an icon for the National Soccer Hall of Fame and for JCCC as well. Not only is Burmood a professor here at the college, but some of the work he did, including the welding, was done on campus.
“Now [the college has] somebody from [their] art department who has achieved a huge international statement in sculpture,” said Dorrell.
Now that the work is completed, Burmood can appreciate the fact that thousands upon thousands of people are going to be able to witness the product of his hard work and dedication. This was the goal all along.
“We wanted to show the extreme possibilities of the human body and we also wanted people to be able to relate to it despite age or gender or race,” said Burmood.