Canadian super-brand Mackage featured an art show at their SoHo location that was curated in part by renowned street artist Bradley Theodore.
The retail space was transformed into a makeshift gallery that houses work by Theodore himself along with ByFlore, Jay West, LeRone Wilson, Humza Deas, Hassan Kinley, and Ray Smith. The selection of work chosen for this show was inspired by the mixture of hard and soft elements in Mackage’s signature looks.
This exhibit comes just in time to celebrate Mackage’s Fall-Winter 2015 collection which features a blend of stylish and varied outerwear and bold angular bags. This year’s collection was inspired by the geographical and tonal features of the Arctic which can be seen in the both muted and light color palette and the angular forms that appear in various forms throughout the collection. Once again Mackage fuses hard and soft elements, much like the harsh climate of the Arctic and its soft appearance, with metals and leathers accenting flowing winter ponchos with fur trim.
The art exhibit, which succeeded in grasping Mackage’s signature aesthetic, explores art through a wide range of mediums including paintings, photography prints, sculpture, and projections. Artist Bradley Theodore offered The Knockturnal some insight on his personal favorites and his inspiration.
Can you talk about some of your favorite pieces in this collection?
BT: I love the Jerkface piece quite amazing by Florence. Some really incredible stuff. Humza. I mean he’s next level. I’m afraid of heights and he does it. I don’t know how he does it. The Ray Smith is actually one of my super favorites. He’s one of my favorite artists. He’s at a level that hasn’t been seen in a long time. And I love my artwork myself. Like not to be biased but it always baffles me how does that exist. I look at it and I don’t even know how I painted it. Mimicking a painting- I don’t think I could do it.
I know you’re inspired a lot by fashion. Can you speak about how that interest began and how you decide where to incorporate it in your artwork?
BT: My interest in fashion started as a kid. My brothers always used to take care of themselves, dress really nice. They’re big Ralph Lauren fans. And for me, I just started getting into like neighborhood battles of who could dress the best. I would buy a Tommy Hilfiger orange- no lime green golf jacket and match it with lime green Converse with some orange pants and then a white button up- polo button up. It was just something we always did. And then when I moved to New York it just became another part of being in New York, hanging out with friends in the fashion industry, designers, going to fashion shows, having lunch in cafes with this designer or that designer. It wasn’t like today with the big corporations, it was more like just hanging out you know? Donna Karen is a big big big influence in my life for me. She’s one of the persons that really mentored me during hard times in New York. She’s just a person that shows you that fashion is a lifestyle.
Is it true that you lived in this neighborhood a while back?
BT: Oh man. I lived in all five boroughs. I lived in Paris and I moved back from Paris and I was like I’m going to move to Staten Island because in Paris if you live next to the water you’re rich. If you live right next to the sand it was like omg you’re rich. I was like in Staten Island I can live next to the water for nothing. I moved out afterwards but-
So how do you feel about the art and fashion scene from way back when compared to now?
BT: Oh wow. I mean I could remember as a kid running down the street with- before it was Obey it was Obey the Giant and it was like he would put these little eight and half by eleven black and white photos of Andre the Giant and we would walk around and it was like everyone was trying to do it at the same time but we weren’t trying to do it for money. We were just trying to do it because it was something to do. Back then you were either a thug, a businessman or an artist and I chose to be an artist.
How do you feel about that decision?
BT: It’s something that came reluctantly. I didn’t necessarily want to do it. I tried not to do it for a long time and it just came together.
I know you’ve dabbled with 3D printing.
BT: I started computer graphics in college. I have three 3D printers. I mean the first time I bought a 3D printer was a nightmare. I was like trying to do a sculpture and it didn’t work and I just almost threw it out the window but you know I sold it and I bought paint.
So how do you feel about 3D printing compared to painting?
BT: I think there’s pros and cons to it. I think there’s a place for it. I’m not against it. I’m using it in some new artwork that I’m doing. But painting is surreal. I mean actually for me painting is spiritual. Like it’s an out of body experience. When I sit down to paint it’s not even me painting, it’s such energy going and like with each piece I don’t even remember doing the strokes. So when I look at my work it’s like wow how do I do that. So painting is a whole different ballgame. It’s close to cooking. It’s like being a chef. When you taste it you’re like wow.
I totally get that. And what do you have coming up that you would like people to know about?
BT: I’m doing something with Alex Sitar. I’m also doing another kind of Summer Session in the Lower East Side on November 1. I have to find out where but it’s going to be cool.
The exhibit will be on view until September 25 and all works are available for purchase.