L.A. based artist, designer and illustrator Gary Lockwood aka Freehand Profit earned his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Corcoran School of Art & Design in 2005. Driven by his strong passion for Hip-Hop, graffiti, sneakers and art – and inspired by Noah Scalin’s “Skull-A-Day”, he started his creative project “MASK365”, for which sneakers were deconstructed and turned into elaborately crafted gas masks. Every day for a year he created/drew/assembled/designed/painted/sculpted a mask and published his work on “freehandprofit.com”. In search for new materials, Lockwood experimented with an old Gucci handbag and tore it apart in order to reassemble it into a functioning gas mask. However, looking more into resources that connected to his passion of Hip-Hop, he came up with the idea of using sneakers – a worldwide symbol of a community consisting of rappers, emcees and graffiti artists alike.
The choice of creating gas masks comes from his desire to explore present issues within the Hip-Hop community. He explains how gas masks represent atrocities at war, civil unrest, environmental damnation, whilst also working as a symbol of both, fear and protection. Considering today’s issues in terms of identity, materialism and duality, his artwork reflects a world that is in love with objects but also in love with culture & lifestyle. “The masks embrace our guilty pleasure while reminding us of the more important problems at hand. The sacrifice of the shoes I love for the sake of my art is essential.” For more information about his artwork check out his website www.freehandprofit.wordpress.com.
All images © Freehand Profit