Created in 2013, this mask was previously unreleased.
So here’s a dilemma. Artists, the great artists at least, aren’t afraid to make mistakes. In fact, real genius occurs not through lack of mistakes but through abundance of it. Problem is when an artist gains any type of significant following/audience, they are then expected to maintain a “level of excellence”. But you can’t expect to be (or be expected to be) excellent all the time, sometimes shit’s gotta get fucked up. Most viewers can’t see the potential in a piece that may feel “rough” or “sloppy”, when these “imperfections” are actually signs that the artist is pushing themselves past their comfort zone.
I full on admit I fuck up… A LOT. I want to speak more candidly and critically about my work, but I am mindful of speaking of my work negatively. I don’t want to hear artists I view/listen to talking down about their work that I admired and still consume, I don’t want to hear that Lupe hates “Lasers”, I don’t want to hear Yelawolf say he’ll never do a “Radioactive” again… but I understand it. I’m human, I definitely have those emotions towards some of my work. But at the end of the day someone owns that work of art, and how would that person feel hearing my negative emotions about a piece of art that they love and cherish? There are masks that I wish I could photograph again, maybe a different location or even a different model. There are masks that I even touch up before shows because of new techniques I’ve developed over the course of the past 5 years. But I feel like I have to keep that to myself. Because the wolves and trolls and vultures are out there and they’re hoping to peck the weakness straight out of your gut. I hate hiding.
Today’s release (no pun intended) will allow me to explore candidly speaking about the work because the mask is owned by a very close friend, someone I absolutely consider family. In fact, the mask is made from a pair of shoes he gave me the very first time we met. Foamposites, well kinda. Foamposite ACG Boots to be exact. A perfect test of one of Nike’s most durable materials. This mask sat for months between sessions, trying desperately for my making methods to catch up to my visions (truly I’ve spent my life chasing just that). At the time I completed the mask I was on the cusp of some major changes to my process – maybe I wouldn’t have reached the next peak without stumbling a bit on this piece. Surprisingly the Foamposite part wasn’t an issue, the ACG part was – they’re built super tough and chopping them down cleanly was no easy task (easily in my Top 5 hardest chops – others include LeBron 12, Cortez and the Air Max Flyposite).
So when it came time to shoot the mask I kinda dialed it in. I didn’t envision some fantastic scene, didn’t arrange any crazy dioramas, didn’t scout interesting locations that the apocalypse has already hit, I didn’t even levitate any heads. I shot a few quick snaps of it with my best friend outside of my favorite sneaker shop – Rosewood in San Diego. Good news is the mask is in the family, one day we’ll shoot it again. – Freehand Profit