When it comes to masks it’s hard not to look at them from an anthropological viewpoint. We should take into consideration the roles they’ve played in our culture and development as humans. In many cultures masks are ceremonial and shrouded in secrecy. Masks were believed to not only to represent spirits but to encapsulate them. Today it seems much of our ceremonies are gone, especially any that involve the use of masks – they’re still with us though. Masks take different forms like a bride in a white dress representing the spirit of the pure virgin, the cap and gown turn students into scholars during rites of passage. To some of us, often labeled ‘sneakerheads’, we still believe the spirits reside in the ‘masks’ we lace up every day. The greatness of six championship rings stir in each pair of Air Jordans. The Nike Air Force 1 reverberates the swagger of our favorite rappers and emcees. The colors, textures, and materials all tell a story and form the character of each pair. Using the visual language of sneakers we raise those spirits during our own ceremonies like SneakerCon, DunkXChange, Sneaker Summit or Sneaker Pimps.
The masks I make are a tribute to our humanity – to our history of mask making and the parts of our society that are dying off. It’s the exploration of what ‘things’ have come to replace masks and then tying them together again. The masks are a collision of the ancient and the modern. It’s a ritual sacrifice in a time where the object of desire is God to too many. But heathens don’t make offerings to the gods, just like the traditions of countless societies before us, the sacrifice must be made by a believer.
-Gary Lockwood (Freehand Profit)
The Nike Lebron X (10) ‘Cork’ Gas Mask is the 71st sneaker mask by Freehand Profit. The mask’s lion character continues on to the 1 of a kind hooded sweatshirt which features a mane of laces. (Both mask and hoody are part of the art and not intended as fashion). It is made from a single pair and was commissioned by Tomas @torotrigger. The mask is modeled by Will (@kingpoetic01) at The Holy Grail in downtown Los Angeles. Photographs by Freehand Profit with the help of Betsy VanDeusen. You can grab the ‘Loud Pack 2’ tee from 8and9.com or by clicking here!
Be sure to follow @freehandprofit and @8and9 on IG & Twitter this week as we celebrate another year collaborating for Art Basel. I’ll be showing the Cork X mask as well as 3 unreleased masks (King’s Pride, Toro IVs and Lebron X “Christmas”). I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in Miami!