The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has opened a new sneaker-inspired exhibition at its SCAD Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta.
Called “Face Value,” the exhibition, on view through Sept. 11, features more than 30 works from visual artist Gary Lockwood, also known as Freehand Profit, who deconstructs sought-after sneakers and reinterprets them into ornate masks.
Lockwood began deconstructing rare and collectible sneakers into intricate masks in 2010, inspired by the respirator “gas” masks graffiti artists would often wear while creating their work. Since then, Lockwood has constructed more than 200 masks, typically fashioned from a single pair of shoes, “sampling” or “remixing” the sneakers’ raw materials.
Retaining the markings and style of the original shoes — including the Nike Air Max, Travis Scott Jordan 1s, Yeezys, glow-in-the-dark Doernbecher Jordans and Nike SB Dunks — the three-dimensional masks seek to engage ideas of real and perceived value, according to Lockwood.
“The show celebrates more than a decade of dedication — bordering on obsession — and reunites us all with my best sneaker mask work from collectors around the world,” Lockwood told FN. This exhibition is a chance to explore these works individually and as a whole, and I look forward to the insights we form together.”
Lockwood’s sneaker masks have gained a cult following among sneaker enthusiasts, athletes, rap and hip-hop artists, and collectors from across the world — notably among them Kevin Durant, Method Man, DJ Skee, Strange Music and Iman Shumpert. The artist has also collaborated with Adidas, Reebok, Nike, Puma, Astro Gaming, Champs Sports and others.
“We are thrilled to showcase Freehand Profit’s incredibly thought-provoking work at SCAD FASH,” said Rafael Gomes, director of fashion exhibitions at SCAD FASH, who curated the showcase. “This exhibition will be an electrifying exploration into the artist’s tribute to sneaker culture, hip-hop, graffiti artists and the world of anime, and is sure to excite our students and the community.”
The exhibition coincides with the recent announcement of SCAD’s new sneaker design minor earlier this month. Based on student interest and alumni success in the industry, the minor is designed to further enhance professional credentials and propel graduates to the top of the growing, lucrative field.
Offered within the School of Fashion, the new sneaker design minor is available to students at both SCAD Savannah and Atlanta locations and includes new courses specifically created to amplify new and sustainable design and manufacturing practices. The minor includes five courses designed to develop students’ knowledge and design skills in sketching, rendering, concept development, digital prototyping and branding for luxury and high-performance sneakers. These courses provide SCAD students with access to leading technology resources and ensure students complete the minor with a professional-quality portfolio that includes both physical and digital prototypes of original sneaker designs.