As the world at large knows quite well at this point, we're foremost a blog about dipshittery, William & Mary basketball, and Muppets. But somehow we've also become a blog about sneakers and sneaker culture. If I had the means, I'd be the Imelda Marcos of sneakers, and I'm a piker compared to Mark and zman. The modern sneaker has become as much a work of art as a functional item.
In the case of Freehand Profit, the sneaker as an art form is more literal. The DC-born, Corcoran School of Art and Design-educated, and L.A.-based artist/designer/illustrator deconstructs sneakers to create mesmerizing masks, like this one, built from Nike SB Dunk Lows:
Profit says that his often darkly-themed work can be viewed as a comment on consumer culture, saying, "I don’t want to condemn completely, some of what we consider “consumer culture” provides and improves goods & services. It also provides jobs for creatives. But when we are unaware of how deep it affects us or if we put too much value in the object, then that consumerism becomes a problem. The masks I make are also an attempt to balance the materialism. Both celebrating and destroying the sneaker, embracing the art that is already designed into the sneaker, but using the gas mask to remind us we are a world faced with war, civil unrest and environmental destruction."
If you're doing some early holiday planning, Profit's masks go for as much as $10,000, though you can grab one for as little as $2,500. He did a solo show at Rosewood, a sneaker shop in San Diego, so pay attention to your local kicks merchant's website - you never know.
I can't stop looking at the masks on his website. They're haunting, and they're flat beautiful. Guess I need to start saving some cash.