Want more of No.100? Check out this gallery of close ups, devil’s in the details.
Number 100, known to long time supporters as the Hellafant mask, is made from 2 pairs of Jordan 3Lab5s. The ears are made from a Jordan Brand hoodie and also feature custom embroidery done at Imprint Revolution (the LA print shop where Betsy and I used to work). The trunk has two different and interchangable tips, one in the traditional air canister style with the sole on the end. The second attachment is more natural, like the tip of an actual elephant’s trunk formed from 2 Jordan 5 tongues and a gas mask intake valve. Each attachment also has a hook so that the trunk can be attached to the back of the mask while worn, also in reference to the original design which swept the hose trunk back behind the mask. The lenses are custom cast as are the tusks and air canisters and ear frame. It was built on a catcher’s helmet base and is quite heavy. I did my best to hollow out the tusks to remove much of the weight but the last thing I wanted was a fragile end result.
It was not light work bringing this mask into existence. In fact, the idea alone was a hurdle for me. When I originally designed my Hellafant G.A.S. Mask I said that “One day I’ll be able to make it come to life.”, a statement riddled with self-doubt because I had spent my entire artistic life shying from sculptural work. I had put the task on an imaginary pedastel, some Herculean height for me to reach creatively. Now it was time to conquer my demon.
A popular question is always “How long does it take to make a mask?” – I’ve never actually clocked myself. Time doesn’t measure when the piece is complete, how long each piece takes is of no concern to my art. On average the standard sneaker mask can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. Some of that time is deconstruction and planning, some of it is dry and cure time, some of it is time spent developing molds and castings, and then of course there is the photo shoot. This particular mask was filmed every step of the way for a documentary on my work called “A Cut Above.” With the added time required for filming, the 3Lab5 Hellafant G.A.S. Mask took nearly 2 years to complete. Special thanks to @santaklaus36 for his patience and for trusing my vision for this piece, it’s going to look great next to your Toro IV Gas Mask!