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Court Side Glam: Victor Solomon Recreates Basketball Backboards With Stained Glass

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It is common knowledge that superstar athletes are paid handsomely. But artist Victor Solomon reminds us of that fact in a beautifully colorful and decorative way. He spent over 100 hours hand making stained glass window-style backboards for the basketball court. He makes the connection between the luxury life a lot of professional athletes live, and the historical opulence that once existed in homes and interior design.

After designing the backboards in a traditional ‘Tiffany‘ style, he cut the glass, soldered the frame together, strung together different style nets to suit each design, and even gold plated the rims. He has weaved jewels, gems and chains together, attaching them to the Art Nouveau style designs. Literally Balling is his collection of three different backboards, and what started out as a joke between friends, quickly turned into a labor intensive project centered around luxury and grandeur.

The thought of someone haphazardly throwing a basketball at one of these intricate and fragile creations is quite an unsettling one. Solomon cleverly points out that the attachment to, and respect we have for beautifully handcrafted objects, is also the same we have toward celebrity sports stars and professional sports. We can look, but it’s probably better not to touch. (Via Design Boom)

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A Day In Decay: 1994-1997

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1994-1997 were significant years in my life. I was stuck in the suburbs rotting away at a high school where nothing of interest ever happened. I spent my weekends riding the metro into D.C. to paint graffiti, go to hardcore shows, skateboard and generally cause mischief. (Remember that the internet was in its early stages, so finding a cool magazine that covered my interests was a rare feat.) 12 oz. Prophet was one of my main sources of inspiration. Primarily covering graffiti and what would eventually be called “street art,” 12 oz. was ahead of the curve. 12 oz. is still around, so if you need a graffiti fix check out their site. The issue pictured above featured a great interview with Twist (Barry Mcgee). Only a few of you know about this, but the name “Beautiful/Decay” actually comes from the last question in the interview: “Raven – You’re really into shit that’s all rundown and decaying, huh?” And Twist responded: “I love stuff that’s rundown, rusted, beautiful decay, a state of decay.” I didn’t start B/D immediately after reading the interview, but the phrase “Beautiful Decay” stuck in my head for weeks. Finally, after reading several ‘zines at shows and trying to find something meaningful to do with my time I decided to put the phrase to good use and start our humble lil ‘zine.

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Design Month: Stonepeak Ceramics


If you’ve ever renovated a home you know how challenging it is to find floor coverings that fit in with your Eames Eiffel chairs and Eli Walker paintings. And if you’re looking for something that’s made in the USA, great quality and environmentally friendly, it’s an even greater challenge. That’s where Stonepeak Ceramics comes in, they offer Italian quality tiles made in the USA using advanced technology to reduce waste and even carry a Greenguard certification.

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Vhils Carved Street art portraits

Vhils doesn’t just apply his street art on top of walls but actually carves into them creating a permanent site specific image that is ingrained onto the surface of the buildings. Becoming one with the pre-existing architecture Vhils chips, scratches, and cuts away at the walls revealing images that were there all along but that no one could see.

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Sun Yeo’s Dreamy Gestures

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Sun Yeo is a graphic-designer-gone-artist based in Los Angeles. Remnants of Sun’s graphic design career are visible in the work, which introduces a hybrid digital/analog technique to create each piece. Through the subtle, dreamy, and whimsical gestures in her artwork, Sun suggests the simultaneous presence of comfort and innocence in a world that is stuck somewhere between fantasy and reality. Check out a handful of Sun’s latest body of work after the jump, and be sure to see the full collection on her website.

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Sarah Joncas, and Other Ladies of Distinction

Recent Ontario College of Art and Design graduate Sarah Joncas already has a distinct, characteristic style that has earned her several awards, as well as garnered the attentions of top galleries around the US. Her paintings often focus on a lone woman, drawing out her narrative in a combination of bold hues and shadowy tones. The themes explored in her works are at times dark but at other times quite whimsical. Currently, the Toronto-based artist is representing Canada in an all-female group show entitled ‘International Woman’ which can be caught at the UK’s Warrington Museum now through July 7th. Living on this side of the pond, as they say? Then check out the artist’s upcoming joint show with fellow painter Caia Koopman, opening June 16th at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, California.

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Robert Mapplethorpe’s Early Polaroids, 1970-1975

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Robert Mapplethorpe, the timelesss American photographer most active in the 1980’s, was mainly known for his highly stylized black and white flower series. However, his most iconic and prolific works, various series of photographs dealing with homoeroticism and sadomasochistic BSDM acts between men of diverse cultural backgrounds, fuelled national debate in the NSA over the public funding of controversial artworks.

Some of these photographs, made visible by The Mapplethorpe Foundation, were part of his first solo gallery exhibition, ‘Polaroids’, at the Light Gallery in 1973.

Mapplethorpe quickly found satisfaction taking Polaroid photographs in their own right and indeed few Polaroids actually appear in his mixed-media works. Two years after his Polaroids exhibition, he acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the S & M underground. He also worked on commercial projects, creating album cover art for Patti Smith and Television and a series of portraits and party pictures for Interview Magazine.

Polaroids © The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation (Via Vice and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation)

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Altered Realities Bad for Human Health?

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I came across an article on Reuters the other day detailing the French government’s proposal of a law that would require all digitally modified images  to come with a warning stamp/disclaimer stating: “Photograph retouched to modify the physical appearance of a person.” Valerie Boyer, French parliamentarian, alongside some 50 other politicians, proposed the law to fight what they see as a warped image of women’s bodies in the media & popular culture. Boyer stated, “These images can make people believe in a reality that often does not exist.” They believe that these “false realities” could lead to various kinds of psychological disorders, most prominently eating disorders within young women.

What’s interesting is that this law would apply not only to the glossy spreads of fashion mags, but all press photographs, political campaigns, images on packaging, advertising, even art photographs. More before/after digital photoshopping after the jump. I wonder in the Renaissance if people were upset that fair duchesses and dukes were painted with a smokey-sfumato to hide their big noses….at any rate, this holds some strange implications as far as how we view photography as some sort of implement of “truth”– seems to me gone are the days the photograph will be considered as any sort of factual record…

What do you guys think? Regulating altered realities good, or detrimental to creative expression….? (Also, is it me or is there something strangely visually satisfying about these photos…)

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