Repurposed Nikes


An excerpt from a 2005 Sports Illustrated piece on artist Brian Jungen:

Eight years ago, while visiting Manhattan, Jungen stumbled upon the Nike store. “I was overwhelmed by its magnitude,” he recalls. “The corporate propaganda in the store displays explained the history of Nike shoes and the global role of Nike products. I felt like I was in an anthropology museum.”

I was recently reminded of this great series Vancouver artist Jungen had exhibited in 2006 featuring Nike Air Jordans taken apart and pieced together into traditional native masks.


Titled ‘Prototype for New Understanding,’ it’s really cool to see how Jungen takes these two worlds, each with their own loaded histories, and plays them both with and against each other in order to comment on consumerism, mysticism and myth. From a purely technical view, too, think about the work put into making the AJ colors, stitching, curves and forms fit those of aboriginal headwear this well.

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