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The Symbolic Art of Soccer Breathes Life into a Cafe and Gallery

A group of creatives seek to make art out of a soccer lifestyle.
All images courtesy Football Cafe

The white walls pulse lightly at Football Cafe, designed by architecture group Husband Wife. Since opening last fall, the New York cafe has become an enclave for the active creatives. Unlike any other location in the city, there’s a vibrant synergy between sport and art.

With varied backgrounds in fashion, design, architecture, and NYC nightlife, but bonded by a love of football, the owners chose the space for its direct proximity to Lion’s Gate Field, where Bowery Premiere League clubs, including the affiliated Nowhere FC play each day. In less than a year, the cafe’s stretched far past soccer, with an art gallery/pop-up Nanogallery occupying the adjacent storefront, which recently hosted a jersey customization activation, employing Nowhere FC’s unique, hand-dyed garments as canvas for attendees to personalize.


“We got into designing jerseys in the last six years or so, and there was really no structured industry or lane for that other than pro kits,” says Nowhere FC and Football Cafe creative director Diego Moscoso. “The ‘make-your-own-jersey-concept’ was wide open, so I thought it back to it's root. What are jerseys? They seemed a bit like flags, seen across a land or battle-field. Immediacy and color are critical, so I started from that.”

Every inch of the space occupied by the gallery and cafe are steeped in symbolism. It’s a vibrant pastiche of sport, art, and heritage, purposely curated. Every color and logo has intention, often subverting traditional messaging. From the neon-light signs to the ornate patches on display, every element can be taken for face value, but there’s a deep story in each piece.

“Well, there’s the emblems of Nowhere FC which are first, the color maroon and second the FC, which represents our family and all that we do from businesses to community,” Moscoso explains. “FC also refers to “First Class” or “Fame City,” a graffiti crew founded in 1982. The ideals and styles of that crew are passed on through generations and iterations; this is from that branch in the times we live.

With a loyal clientele from musicians and visual artists, including Hak, A-trak, Asap Nast, Dev Hynes, Chromeo, Ryan McGinley, Dean Levine, Lucien Smith, and Tauba Auerbach, Football Cafe and the field are a veritable “artists’ living room,” in a city where few have the space to truly create and exchange ideas in their often undersized apartments. As a testament to the cafe’s marriage of art and football, the gallery is an active space and proving ground for creatives.


Moscoso says, “It's a tiny gallery, so we can afford to incubate and experiment a bit.”

To learn more about Football Cafe and Nanogallery click here.


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