I conceptualized and fabricated this track suit. To do this, I learned to sew and copy patterns. The only part of the suit that I did not produce myself is the embroidery. I created content to accompany the suit as the life of it's creation began to unfold: Haci es.
Haci es is an incorrect way of spelling "asi es" in Spanish. In English, "asi es" roughly translates to "that's the way it is". I have titled this project Haci es from an inside joke I share with my wife, who is teaching me how to speak Spanish.
Materially, this project consists of:
A track suit copied from an Adidas design
A series of drawings
Mythological stories tying them all together
The development of Haci es is as follows:
We had just left the rock venue in Beijing, China to catch a breath of cool night air. Dan, Alex, Stacey, Sam, Monica, and I made our way to the local sundry store to buy a drink under cover from rain.
Dan and I began talking about the textile district in Shanghai and how inexpensive it is to have custom clothes made in China. We both began spouting what we might have created if we had more time: silk shirts, funky pants, costumes... velour suits! Velour suits copied from the Adidas track suit made famous by the artists Run DMC, couture fit in vibrant colors!
I promised the track suit would come to be. Back in Shanghai, I found a replica of the black Adidas track suit that fit me perfectly. I took the suit and a Shanghainese-speaking friend to the textile district. We spoke with dozens of tailors. We explained from sketches I had made that we wanted the suit replicated BUT it needed details adjusted and materials changed. As much as we tried, the tailors were not able to wrap their head around our proposals.
I took the idea back to Los Angeles with me. There, I visited the expansive textile/fashion district to again hire a tailor able to translate my sketches into an actual suit. Although I found numerous tailors, I couldn't find one to work within my budget.
A friend suggested, "Fabricate the suit yourself." Shortly afterward, my wife bought me a sewing machine and I started a six-week night class to learn how to sew. One of my fellow students brought their little boy to class one night and asked me why I was there (as I was the only male in the class). I said, "Grown men should know how to sew too!"
After spending over 150 hours building several failed suits out of different fabrics, I found a material called minky. It was at this point, after all the hours of pratice and searching, the suit finally reached a level of quality I was happy with. Most notably, I concquered welt pockets!
I also developed content to accompany the track suit. The resulting drawings are able to viewed in a gallery on this page under "Xylene transfer drawings".
Several installations include:
One bowl of Halloween candy with a sign reading “Please take three pieces only so other folks can enjoy”.
One pile of onions mixed with cigarettes.
One “small” wake for a Virgin of Guadalupe candle. The candle will be set in an appropriately-sized coffin, surrounded by regular candles.
One vendor selling replicas of the hat created for the above track-suit. The one-size-fits-all hats will be sold for $10, cash only.
50-100 select song’s to be played while exhibit is open.
A landing page for the project can be visited HERE.