BKLYN Designs 2015 kicked off today at the Brooklyn Expo in Greenpoint, where artisans from all over Brooklyn came to show off their functional art.
There was plenty of local collaboration at play, like Rodrigo Valles painting a skull mural for one “wall” of AphroChic’s makeshift furnished house. The Boerum Hill artist said the graffiti background is typical of his work. “I like the layered look,” he said. “It’s both abstract and modern. When it looks pleasing enough, I throw acrylic on top.” He said that in this case he chose a giant skull because it was “bound to catch someone’s attention,” which is beneficial for AphroChic’s Bryan Mason and Jeanine Hays. The husband and wife team started the design blog in response to the lack of people of color in the genre.
“It’s all about how to take vintage and make it new again,” Hays explained about the blog’s aesthetic. The couple travels to shows all over the country, and they change up their displays to fit the city they’re in. “The vibe is a little more serious and grounded” in Brooklyn, Hays said. “Brooklyn has more cultural depth to it.”
Nick Leonoff was showing off his unique glassware; he does his glassblowing at Fort Greene’s Urban Glass, where he uses a Swedish overlay technique to create many layers of glass on both the inside and outside of the vessel. He said the real work begins when he brings his creations back to his studio in Bushwick, where he “cold works” the glass, a time-consuming technique less employed by artists than working with the glass while it’s hot because it’s “a more tedious process.”
And fahz was there with their contraption that through some sort of voodoo customizes vases with people’s faces silhouetted in vases.
OK, so it’s not voodoo — according to their website, the Kickstarter-funded company converts photos into vector geometry. “The outlines from the photos become the scaffolding for a 3D model that merges the distinct profiles into a seamless sculptural form,” the fundraising site explains. “Once the custom digital model is generated, the file is sent directly to a 3D printer to create the highly detailed vase in lightweight, durable PLA plastic.” Huh! How ’bout that?
Click through our slideshow of more uniquely Brooklyn designs below. The BKLYN Design continues this Saturday and Sunday. See a full schedule here.