What do stained-glass artistry, luxury and basketball have in common? Is there any meaningful connection among them?
Victor Solomon has an answer and the answer is YES!
The Boston-born, LA-based artist gets inspired by basketball and creatively blends it with his passion for luxury materials such as gold plated edges. Solomon finds the cultural intersection where art meets popular sports and tops it with extravagance materials.
In his new collection, Literally Balling, he celebrates a great fusion of old and new ideas, styles and designs, creating the unexpected.
Solomon showcases five brand new stained glass sculptures decorated with 24 karat gold plated hoops as well as woven Swarovski crystal nets, reconstructing the idea of a typical basketball backboard.
Having a sarcastic standpoint, he notes that “the irony of the project is in exchanging an object’s function for the opportunity to show-off; something that is inclusive and class-proof becomes elite and luxurious.”
After apprenticing under glass veterans, Solomon became capable of altering attractive backboards inspired by archaic Tiffany vogue and jewels. Moreover, being mainly taught by skillful church window ornaments, the artist illustrates a religious devotion on these thoroughly individualized and diligently made artworks, consuming over 100 hours for each piece.
With his creations, Solomon sets a cultural debate between sports, luxury and arts, aiming to intellectually enlighten his audience.
The artist will be presenting his works in Los Angeles Soze Gallery this coming September 2016 so we decided to catch up with him and ask a few questions.
Yannis Kostarias: You have chosen crystal beads, brass and Tiffany style painted glass – rather luxurious materials – for your creations. Is basketball for the riches these days?
Victor Solomon: The materials, particularly stained glass, have historically been symbols of wealth and power. As basketball has evolved to new levels of popularity, the sport and its stars have become our culture’s new “kings” and appear to love showing off just as much as their medieval counterparts did.
Do you know whether someone ever used your artworks to actually shoot some hoops?
The irony of the project is in exchanging an object’s function for the opportunity to show-off. In adopting these materials, you give back what the backboards intention is – so something that has very low-barrier to entry and is inclusive and class-proof, becomes elite and luxurious, but at the same time, un-useable.
We’re eagerly waiting for your opening at the Soze Gallery – what else do you have planned for the next few months?
I’m excited about the upcoming show and have been focused on getting that finished, but working on a few moves for the rest of the year. Looking at some opportunities in Dubai, Miami and Paris and hopefully somewhere in there, a little break too.
**Cover’s Featured Image: Thisismelo