Off to the races with Stephanie Ho's debut edition
Ready, set, go! New York City’s storied marathon is a few days away, but we’re already off to the races with Hong Kong-born, London-based artist Stephanie Ho’s 20x200 debut, The Race 04.
The Race 04 celebrates another top-tier trot—the London Marathon—but since Ho’s pared-down composition depicts only the runners themselves, viewers can use their imagination to build whatever route they please around her phalanx of fleet-footed athletes.
Much like the event itself, the sinuous spectacle that Ho presents is actually made up of scores of carefully considered individuals. Each brightly clad figure represents a triumph of discipline and sustained effort: to run a marathon takes months of training, and each one of its participants has already logged countless lonely miles, likely enduring plenty of physical and emotional anguish along the way, all in service of the lofty goal of completing this storied 26.2-mile run. Here we see the prize itself: to spend the day among thousands of others—some elite and some utterly ordinary—who dared to dream that they were capable of this incredible achievement and are striving to cross that finish line.
Ho’s canvas is both an homage to their heroic efforts and a reminder that the well of human potential is deep indeed. We might not all be runners (we’re certainly not!) but The Race 04 represents a broader human truth: greatness lives within all of us, even if realizing it doesn’t exactly come easy. Every story is unique, but however these runners arrived at this day, it’s a cause for celebration. That’s why the canyons of New York’s city streets will be lined with cheering well-wishers come Sunday, and why living with Ho’s art will be a source of inspiration—athletic, artistic, or otherwise— for years to come.
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