Monthly Archives: April 2013

TORONTO CELEBRATES THE RISE OF SNEAKER CULTURE

I felt like a kid in a candy store when I attended the opening of the Bata Museum’s Out Of The Box:The Rise Of The Sneaker Culture exhibition, with my wife and friends, Cybil and Brian last Thursday.

The exhibition, designed by world renowned industrial designer, Karim Rashid, traces the history of sneakers for the past 150 years and features over 120 pairs of the most iconic sneakers. Some of the rarest sneakers from the world’s leading brands were on display.

Legendary sneaker head and DJ, Bobbito Garcia thrilled the crowd with his performance on the decks and Toronto’s sneaker freaks were out in full force. Checking out the sneakers they were wearing was nearly as exciting as the exhibit itself.

If you’re in Toronto, be sure to check out the exhibition at The Bata Shoe Museum. The exhibition runs till March 2014.

My phone camera is terrible so all images from torontolife.com

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME – HEADS UP ON GAMEDAY

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The baseball season is in full swing now and we all want to show support for our teams (COME ON BLUE JAYS!!!). For those who also want to make a fashion statement, check out some of these interesting and unusual caps by New Era and American Needle.

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HYPEREALITY AND THE ART OF RON MUECK

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Great art is meant to move you, make you feel something. When I see the work of Ron Mueck, I feel a mixture of unease and fascination. His hyper real sculptures play with size and proportion to create powerful and sometimes disturbing works of art. Originally a puppeteer, Mueck’s work has appeared in galleries across the globe. His latest exhibition is at the Foundation Cartier in Paris.

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All images from designboom.com

STREET ARTIST ROA BRINGS WILDLIFE TO JOZI

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Belgian street artist, ROA, renowned for his larger than life, black and white, sometimes disturbing depictions of animals has struck again. This time the city of Joburg, South Africa gets the ROA treatment as part of an adidas sponsored campaign called I Art Joburg. The fantastic piece features a giant hippo, giraffe, wilderbees, rhino and elephant lounging on the side of a building. Have a look at the amazing images and check out the rest of the project at i-art-joburg.com

All images by Martha Cooper for i-art-joburg.com For more work by ROA visit streetartnews.net

MASHIN’ IT UP WITH TENDJZ

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I love a good mashup. Well, only if it’s interesting, well executed and doesn’t have shout outs to the producer every ten seconds.

Russian-born, Miami-based DJ/producer, Tendjz (pronounced tenjeez), has created three mashup gems. Blending 70s and 80s Russian jazz instrumentals with the Hip Hop of his favorite artists, he manages to create seamless and utterly enjoyable jams. De la Soviet, the first of the trilogy, features De la Soul classics with Soviet soul and jazz samples. Next, the music of Q-Tip gets the same treatment on Q-Tipokratiya. And finally Nas and Common are mashed up on CommoNasm.

All three albums are available for free download via soundcloud. For more about this fantastic producer check out his website: tendjiz.com

UP THERE – Celebrating the dying art of signwriting.

My Uncle, Mario Leeson is an old school signwriter. Back in the day, when he worked for Coca-Cola, they would drive around in a tuck, filled with powdered paints and painting equipment. They went from town to town across the country to hand paint the Coke logo on shop fronts. I would occasionally get to watch him work and would stare for hours, dumbfounded, as he would create the most amazing signs by hand. I don’t think i quite have the patience for signwriting, but seeing my Uncle at work, is probably why I chose to be a Graphic Designer.

While surfing the net, I stumbled upon this amazing documentary called UP THERE. This fascinating documentary, commissioned by Stella Artois, follows a group of New York City signwriters. Have a look at these artists talk about their work and painstakingly paint a 20ft x 50ft wall.

UP THERE from The Ritual Project on Vimeo.

HaveYouHeard | Yellowbirds – Young men of promise

Fantastic track of their soon to be released Songs From The Vanished Frontier album.

2BOP’S GOT GAME | 80’S ARCADE GAME INSPIRED FASHION

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A couple of years ago my wife, Carolyn, started a website dedicated to showcasing contemporary African design. Kariboucorp.com set out to dispel prevalent misconceptions about the continent by showcasing the work of Africa’s finest artists, designers and photographers. As part of Nerdswagger’s African focus, I’ve decided to revisit the artists discussed on the site and see what they’re up to now. First up is 2BOP, a Cape Town based fashion label that’s steadily growing it’s international fanbase.

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2BOP was founded in 2004 by Anthony Smith and Bradley Abrahams who describe their brand as follows:

“2Bop draws inspiration primarily from games that were popular in South Africa at corner shops and arcades in the1980’s and early 1990’s when gameplay was key and graphics if they were good were an added bonus. Disadvantaged areas during apartheid South Africa had little to offer in terms of exposure to cutting edge international design or computer technology but the bootleg arcade games that used twenty cent pieces (a 2Bop) to play at the corner shop were a window into what was happening in the outside world’.

Since being interviewed on Kariboucorp.com 2BOP has moved from strength to strength. They’ve won a grant from South African advertising agency, The Jupiter Drawing Room, attended the Bread & Butter Streetwear festival in Berlin and recently opened their own store called Smith and Abrahams General Dealer and Outfitters.

Check out the videos of them in Berlin and some of their fresh to death merchandise. Also check out their website and online store are at www.twobop.co.za/

2BOP at BBB 2012 from ebrahim hajee on Vimeo.

STR.CRD X 2BOP @ BREAD & BUTTER 2012 from STR.CRD on Vimeo.

FRESHKICKS | Nike Air Vortex VNTG

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With Summer around the corner, you know you’ve gotta get fresh new kicks. Nike’s vintage Air Vortex, which has time traveled from from the 80s, is a definite must have. Made from nylon, mesh and leather and beaming with a laser purple and cyber yellow colourway, these kicks will ensure that you’ll be turning heads this summer.

You can get them right now at Nike.com.

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Images from http://www.eukicks.com

HaveYouHeard – Statik Selektah – Bird’s Eye View (Ft. Raekwon, Joey Badass & Black Thought)

A dope new track off the upcoming Extended Play album by super producer Statik Selektah.

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