Sounders FC invites soccer fans near and far to take part in an opportunity to decorate their walls with truly one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Rave Green goalkeeper Stefan Frei and Roger Bennett, co-host of the popular podcast and NBCSN program Men in Blazers, have come together to create portraits of one another for auction, with all proceeds supporting the Seattle Sounders FC Relief Fund, which has been established to provide financial support to individuals and small businesses in the neighborhoods surrounding CenturyLink Field that have been impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.
“This all began as a bit of a joke on Twitter, with a fan suggesting Stefan, being an actual artist, create a portrait of me, and then me jokingly replying that I could throw in my own painting of Stef on top of it,” said Men in Blazers’ Roger Bennett. “But sometimes what begins in jest leads to something real that can do good – or an opportunity to raise some money. In this case, for an incredibly noteworthy cause to help Seattle, a city I love for its swagger, singularity and footballing passion. I’m genuinely thrilled to have partnered with Stef on this project and I can’t wait to see who ends up taking home these pieces.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to get this auction going,” said Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei. “When Rog approached me to bring this all to life, our vision was first and foremost to raise support for the Seattle community, but then also to provide some entertainment; something fun for fans to enjoy right now. I embraced the challenge of combining my usual abstract style with something very different in a portrait. While Roger may say he’s not an artist, his piece proves otherwise and some lucky bidder is going to get an amazing original from a fantastic, multi-talented individual that has come to help our community in need."
Bidding on the portraits is now open at Sounders.GiveSmart.com and runs through 9:00 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 2, at the conclusion of the club’s Saturday night Sounders FC Classics broadcast. Those interested in participating by mobile phone can also text the word SOUNDERS to the number 52182 to register to participate.
The portrait of Bennett, created by Frei, is acrylic and spray paint on ready-to-hang canvas. The unframed piece measures 24” x 36” and features Bennett as the centerpiece in the bottom-left corner, the remainder of the canvas utilizing Frei’s signature geometric style in shades of pink, yellow and orange contrasted with black. The piece is signed by Frei.
The portrait of Frei, created by Bennett, is colored marker on paper. The piece is framed and matted, with a final size of 12” x 16” and features Frei standing in goal, flanked by his popular pets, miniature Shar Pei Cloï and Great Dane Mobley, with an abstract background in waves of green and blue. The piece is signed by Bennett.
In addition to the two original pieces, Frei is offering an extremely limited production run of 24 prints of his Bennett portrait, which can be purchased at Stefan24Frei.com. As with the auctioned originals, all proceeds from the sale of the prints will be donated to the Seattle Sounders FC Relief Fund.