Dutch Artist Hopes to Inspire Marathon Runners With Prophetic Painting

For the seventh year in a row, Dutch painter Erik van Loon will deck out the New York City marathon with highly optimistic paintings — giant canvases in a series called “I Will Win.” This year, however, the “I Will Win” painting, called “The Crash,” takes on a slightly darker tone: the work is “about the Financial Crash of 2008 and the following depression in all Western industrialized countries.”

Van Loon’s 33 by 20 foot mural will be visible to several million spectators and several thousand runners as they pass a select building during the marathon this November. If past works are any indication, the 2011 “I Will Win” is certainly something to look out for. One earlier mural, entitled “The Creation” (2010), features an homage to Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” in which God is wearing a gas mask (a reference to pollution), and Eve (replacing Adam) is turning a giant faucet that extinguishes a fire in the Gulf of Mexico (a reference to the BP oil spill).

Let’s just hope the runners can keep at their race rather than ponder the symbolic significance of van Loon’s painting. Fans can support the artist by purchasing “The Crash” silk-screened prints, t-shirts, and postcards.