LONDON – A nude Paralympic cyclist, an abstract take on Big Ben and two birds kissing.
Olympic officials on Friday unveiled the posters for the London 2012 games, which highlight 12 different takes on how to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic games.
Leading British artists including the controversial Tracey Emin and Turner Prize-winner Martin Creed designed the posters, joining a tradition that dates back to 1912 and has showcased the works of others such as Andy Warhol and David Hockney.
Emin, whose most famous works include a recreation of her disheveled bed — complete with soiled clothing and empty vodka bottles — and an appliqued tent entitled "Everyone I Have Ever Slept With," described her poster as a "love letter" to the Paralympic games and its athletes.
The image features two kissing birds sitting on a branch above the words "You inspire me with Your determination And I love you."
"I thought about what I wanted to see and what would make me feel good, because this is about feeling good and celebrating what we have," Emin said. "It is not just about sport. It is also about courage and determination."
Fellow artist Fiona Banner also paid tribute to the Paralympic games with "Superhuman Nude." Her poster of a nude Paralympic cyclist is adorned with the words "piercing rod of muscle," ''steel buttock" and "absurdly muscly."
Overlapping Olympics-colored rings that resemble marks left by drinking glasses grace Turner-Prize winner Rachel Whiteread's work, while Sarah Morris used grids in her abstract take on London's iconic landmark, Big Ben.
Members of the public will be able to buy posters of the 12 images for 7 pounds ($11.20) or as limited-edition prints.
A set of the images has been given to Queen Elizabeth II for the Royal Collection and they will be displayed at Prime Minister David Cameron's residence, 10 Downing Street, in 2012.
The posters also will be shown in a free exhibition at the Tate Britain museum as part of the London 2012 festival.
The giant arts festival will take place in conjunction with the 2012 Olympics, which run July 27-August 12, 2012.
Cassandra Vinograd can be reached at http://twitter.com/CassVinograd