Only 100 of each T-shirt printed world-wide.
"Every one of the artists that we invited to design a shirt for this capsule collection
contributes to the downtown culture. By downtown I don’t just mean New York City
but rather a downtown mentality. There’s a downtown even in the smallest of cities.
It’s a way of life. A downtown mentality is the make-it-happen the attitude, life and
death, survival with longevity, the “don’t be bitter but better” attitude. It’s the turn
your lifestyle into a job attitude and the strength in numbers of the creative community.
The post 9-11 genre that I call the now momentum. We are all participants and
There is a strong creative scene and everybody plays a role. Most of us live in the city
so often we cross each other’s paths. You would think in a big metropolis with eight
million people it wouldn’t be so frequent, but believe it or not Manhattan has a small
town in a big city and it’s called the downtown. I run into a lot of these names, these
artist, these survivors, very often. We see each other around, we acknowledge each
other from across the streets and from cab windows, usually with a shout out or a stop
for a quick chat on the corner or the stoop. We catch up and inspire each other. We
are competing with the city and each other in creativity and survival, so jealousy and
competitiveness can be there, but at the end of the day we are all on the same team
pushing for the same goals. There are no losers. Welcome to my downtown."
Lives and works: New York City
Beginning as a documentary photographer and gradually become more conceptual and
spare, Ryan McGinley is in any respect one of the top photographers of the nude form.
His early work followed a group of his friends around through their very dangerous and
exuberant lives. Finding oblique beauty in the grittiest, shittiest situations, these photos
captured in an epic way a group of people and a moment for the city of New York. These
themes transitioned into his next body of work where he took the city kids out into nature
on his now-famous road trips, crossing America with a band of beautiful youths seeking
a hallucinatory vision of our generation. His candid access and spirit of camaraderie fits
well with his visual effects of color washes, selective blurring, and experimental printing
techniques: you are so close to the subjects and so carried away that you forget the mediation
of the camera or that you are looking at a photograph at all.
Lives and works: Portland, OR
Chris Johanson is a Portland-based artist whose vision was shaped on the streets of
the Mission District of San Francisco where he lived most of his adult life. He makes
objects and areas, painted or sculpted, with a signature hand and a signature worldview:
his eye is trained on the downtrodden and the downtrodders, on addiction and recovery,
and on finding a way to be in the world that is sustainable, compassionate, and
free. With found wood and often scavenged paint, Chris builds environments of cultural
critique and spiritual healing. For all his bright, prismatic color, there is a dark energy to
his pieces that assures skeptical viewers that Chris has been to the edge himself, and
come back with something to tell us.
Lives and works: Long Island City, NY
If New York is a microcosm of America, Taylor McKimens, from deep within the city,
presents a macro vision of the America beyond the city limits. And not just outside New
York City, but outside all cities, which is to say the American wilderness that dominates
so much of the continent. Taylor’s wilderness is not about forests and trees (though
they are used for lumber to build instantly broken-down fences) it’s the wild of deserts,
burnt out technology and toxic dust. McKimens’s hallucinatory visions are rooted deep
in America’s dirty, scratched up underbelly, way out West, past where cowboys and
Dodge trucks have long since ceased to tread. It’s here that we find Taylor now, making
old-masterly tableaus of life in the 21st century. Like Cormac McCarthy’s texts, these
images are at once devastatingly violent, delicate observations, and rendered with all
the tools of classical beauty (here paint, there words) available to the artist.