MASK365 – Adidas X Def Jam X Freehand Profit Gas Mask

“In Neo-Angeles, Hip-Hop has returned to it’s origins.  Graffiti runs rampant and fills the desperate void of a world without color.  DJs keep crowds moving with turntables powered by hacking in to the city’s street lights.  Only the strongest MCs survive, the air is too toxic to risk death for anything but the dopest rhymes.  And the B-Boys are dancing again in record numbers.  Humanity’s future has never been more bleak but Hip-Hop’s future is looking bright again.”

May 16, 2011 – Adidas X Def Jam Shell Toe Sneaker Gas Mask

I’ve been hunting for the perfect pair of Adidas to represent for the b-boys out there.  When I found these Def Jam X Adidas I fell in love, to be honest this mask almost didn’t get made because I wanted to rock the shoes.  I knew I had to come correct for the final mask so I pushed forward.  These Adidas Ultra Stars posed a challenge for me to use every bit of the shoe, normally I enjoy working with high tops with much more material.

Well folks, that’s it… 365 masks done in 365 days.  Don’t worry I’ll keep making masks and keep posting them here.  Now it’s time to take my time and fine tune the mask making project and to start some pieces that were too time consuming to create in just a day.

About the work…

This project has truly given a voice to my work. It speaks loudly but not always clearly.  I’m completely comfortable with that fact.  I have a way of looking at the world from both sides of the fence – I’ve always believed that there’s two sides of the story and then there’s the truth.  I’d like to think that my work reflects a bit of the truth that we can’t quite put in to words.  After all if my message could be put in words I’d be a writer instead of an artist.  As an overall body of work the MASK365 project was an effort in creating hybrids.  A serious macabre image of a gas mask made with something as light-hearted as pieces of candy at first glance is a dark subject matter executed in a fun way.  Really if you think about it, it’s the other way around.  A gas mask protects you and all that candy slowly kills you with cavities and diabetes.  There’s plenty more to discover by creating work like this.  I also have more to discover about myself in the work.  For many years I have focused on portraiture and strangely it still holds relevance in my work with masks.  The ‘story’ has also become important to me and being that I’m new to this discovery I am enthralled in my research of it.

Custom Vinyl Foomi – Mask #345

What have I learned from doing a year long, daily project?

First and foremost, this is a rule to live by: Big dreams require big actions.  If there’s one thing I’ve noticed it is that we can all talk big but talk won’t get you to Mt. Olympus. I wasn’t sure I’d make it to the finish line but I knew I had to try.  I’m sure some of you reading this find that to be a little corny and a bit “after-school special”-ly.  Sometimes things that are cliche are just plain true. You can’t achieve great things if you don’t try.  It’s great to be a dreamer but you gotta spend half your time awake trying to make that dream a reality.  My limits were pushed on this project.  I had to really step outside of my comfort zone and create work in ways I had never done before, I also had to publish them for the world to see.  In the next couple of days I’ll share some masks that didn’t make it to the blog because for whatever reason I just couldn’t bring myself to share them with you at the time.

Skull Crab G.A.S. Mask – Mask #285

Where to from here?

I have plans for an impressive MASK365 art show that will hopefully come together towards the end of the year. I’m still in the process of looking for galleries and/or sponsors so drop me a line if you’d like to be a part of it. In the meantime I’ll be designing a book to document the MASK365 project that you’ll be able to order or pick up at one of the many future art shows I’ll be participating in. I also am drafting a script for a graphic novel project, I’ll be sure to share progress with you through this blog.  There will be many, many more masks to come.  This is DEFINITELY not the end, just a milestone.

Designer Half Skull Mask – Mask #261

A Special Thank You To…

Noah Scalin from Skull A Day for the inspiration and support.  Char.L.Ton from Burger365 for being a creative wingman and the spark to start the project.  The beautiful Betsy Etsy for the immense amount of support and for being an amazing girlfriend.  Sebastian Bleak, you’re more help than you’ll ever take credit for – we still gotta make a mask from all those vodka bottles. Candyman 187 & The Havenotz for being there when I had to get away from all the masked madness, and to Ak from the Havenotz for the pair of Savage Beast AF1s and the Air Jordan 1s.   My family for all the love and encouragement, this year and the 27 years prior. Apex for the amazing photo shoots and Zodiak Killa for the hours of freestyle sessions. And Steve from Phusol Studios, it’s been great working for you, I’m looking forward to our future collaborations.  The guys from Ghost Town Media, looking forward to further tapping into the wealth of suggestions and advice. To everyone at the Pancakes & Booze Art Shows and Project Ethos, it’s been great showing my work with you and look forward to many future shows. And to the amazing art teachers and professors I’ve had over the years – Ms. Flo, Mrs. Young, and Mrs. Basinger and Bill Newman from Corcoran- I had your voices in my head every step of  the way. To DOS!K and all the people who shared my work with their friends and community, thank you all so much!

Writer’s Mask #2 – Mask #244

The Next Big Thing…

I’ll be participating in Skull Appreciation Day in Richmond, VA.  Come check out a piece you have to see in person!

In honor of the first annual international Skull Appreciation Day, Gallery5 will host a series of events organized by Richmond’s own Noah Scalin and Philip Cheney.

The festivities will kick off on June, 3rd 2011 with an exhibition of over 100 artists who have reinterpreted a common skull. Skull Appreciation Day will take place on Saturday, June 4th 2011. Free workshops will be offered to the public on this day, followed by a special skeletal soirée at 7pm. Please help us celebrate the cranium on June 4th and throughout the month!

First Friday, June 3rd
Public Opening of the Skull Appreciation Day Exhibition
7PM – 11PM
(Exhibition on display until July 8th)

100+ artists share their interpretation of the skull.
Using a plain papier-mâché skull provided by curators, over 100 local, national, and international artists are sharing their personal take on a universal symbol. Artists include Stefan Boucher, creator of the The Daily Monster project, Bent Objects artist Terry Border, designer James Victore, painter Ryan E. Cronin, and skull aficionados Jud Turner & Mike Eagan.

What was your favorite mask? What was your favorite series (Guerrilla Art Squadron/Branding Wars/Gas Mask Pin Up Girls)? What do you want to see in the future?


My girlfiend, and the very talented, Betsy Etsy created these action figures of Char.L.Ton and me as a congratulatory gift for completing our daily projects.  I had no idea what she had in store for us.  I’ve never had more fun playing with myself……… ok well, you know what I mean.  Char.L.Ton and I are thinking about posting photos of our action figures on amazing adventures kind of like Stormtrooper365 did!

High Five Buddy! Great Work!

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Noah says:

    Congratulations!!! What an incredible year. I’m so glad to have been a part of what made this project happen. I look forward to what you do next and will definitely miss my daily mask.

    And dude, those action figures are unbelievable! Kudos to Betsy, I want one of my own now!

  2. Betsy says:

    😀 Noah, I’d TOTALLY make you one! Just let me know if you’re really interested, maybe we could do a trade of some kind? I love trading work with fellow artists 🙂

    Looking forward to meeting you at the Richmond show!

    1. Noah says:

      I’m totally serious Betsy! Let’s make it happen. Trade works for me. Drop me a line and let’s work out the details. Looking forward to meeting you as well.

  3. Steve says:

    Congrats Gary, been a wild ride. As always you never cease to amaze me with your art and idea’s.. Dad

  4. Char.L.Ton says:

    We made it! What a journey it’s been. Glad to have been a part of it.

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