The art: Paul Pfeiffer, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (8), 2005.
The news: “Basketball players of the NCAA, unite!” by Patrick Hruby for TheAtlantic.com.
The source: Partial and promised gift to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington.
Critic’s note: Hruby’s essay notes that the NCAA financial model relies on the fondness fans and alumni have for their schools. The athletes themselves mostly do not participate in that success: They are the unpaid labor that enables a multi-billion-dollar annual industry. Pfeiffer’s Four Horsemen reminds us that when the identifying jersey is stripped away the player is almost always anonymous. The athletes are conditionally adored by the fans even as they are exploited by the schools for which they play. Jerry Seinfeld was right: We root for the laundry with which we identify.