In an homage to the anonymous geniuses who engineered the everyday works of art (like street signs, film stills, and home interiors) that found their way onto Sam Shipley’s and Jeff Halmos’s Spring 2013 inspiration board, the NYC design duo loosely titled their new collection The Unknown Artist.
Despite that (or perhaps because of it), the S&H guys—masters of wry humor as well as rounding out your wardrobe—decided to cast 6 not-so-unknown artists in the stylish faux-portrait above. Below, Sam and Jeff of Shipley & Halmos discuss an artwork by each modern master that has, in some way, influenced their own aesthetic. Click each artist’s name to learn more.
1. Joseph Beuys, I Like America and America Likes Me, 1974. “Beuys as an artist might be as iconic as the works he created. You’ve seen his trademark hat, and always wondered what it would be like to wear one of his felt suit sculptures.”
2. Keith Haring, ‘Crack is Wack’ Mural, 1986. “When driving through Harlem on the way back down to Manhattan, you can see this original Keith Haring mural from 1986, one of the finest examples of graffiti art in the world. So happy the city of NY has kept its condition in such great shape. It’s inspiring each and every time we see it.”
3. Pablo Picasso, Chien, Coq Et Pierrot, 1970. “What can we say about Picasso that hasn’t already been said? The guy was a master, and is almost always a reference point for us. His detailed sketches, such as this one, inspired some of our recent print work.”
4. Roy Lichtenstein, Still Life with Portrait, 1974. “This particular Lichtenstein painting inspired a T-shirt graphic a few seasons back. Our rendition included a frosty beer, hamburger, fries, and framed picture of MJ circa 1988.”
5. Richard Prince, Untitled (From ‘Cowboy’ Series), 1980-1992. “Prince’s Cowboy series is an interesting example of blending classic Americana with a modern pop-art feel. The works are currently being shown [through April 6] at the Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles. As a present-day artist, Prince is so versatile in almost every medium.”
6. David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967. “During the winter doldrums, flip open a book of Hockney’s work (one of Jeff’s personal favorites)—especially his Pool series. The color palette and subject matter instantly reminds you that summer is almost here!”
[Portrait collage and artwork images courtesy of Shipley & Halmos. All artwork is © the artists noted. Individuals featured do not endorse Nordstrom.]