Fashion

Saturday 26 July 2014

Video: Irish urban artist Maser collaborates with Brown Thomas

Bairbre Power Fashion Editor

Published 19/04/2014|12:06

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FROM spray painting and graffiti art at U2's Windmaill Lane studios to the front windows at Brown Thomas, Grafton Street, that's quite a leap for urban street artist Maser.

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But the thirtysomething Dubliner clearly enjoys fusing his art with fashion. In a memorable collaboration with the Brown Thomas  'Art Is On' initiative, they married contemporary pop art fashion with urban art and the end result literally turns 2-D into 3-D.

For the campaign, the artist created a personalised 'Art Is On'  store bag marked out by his signature style. Gone are the normal elephant grey vertical stripes, replaced by Maser's arcing stripes, this time in powder blue, signed off with with a distinctive 'Maser' heart. 

His colourful canvases from the window installation formed a unique backdrop for this week's fashion shoot in WEEKEND magazine and independent.ie offers you the opportunity to go a step further and view behind the scenes video footage of the shoot. You can see how the BT's  in-store stylist Darren Feeney, assisted by Roisin Haines, sought out bold paint and brush stroke prints and clashing colours amongst this season's most coveted designer pieces and juxtapositioned them against Maser's original work, for optimum, artistic impact.

Maser said "being in the Brown Thomas windows is a landmark location for my art. I see the windows as an iconic space where the city can see and engage with my work as they walk down Grafton Street.

"It's a new and exciting opportunity using fashion in my work, fashion is art but it's less permanent and is expressed through form and fabric. Colour is where art and fashion fuses and that's what I have been working from. I see myself as a messenger. I'd like to bring joy to the street with my art."

The couture catwalks have totally fallen in love with the spray can of modern artists  in recent times and, as Shelly Corkery, Fashion Director of the Brown Thomas Group explains, " urban and street art has influenced the international catwalks this season with iconic brands like Prada, Celine and Chanel ingeniously incorporating the trend into their season's collections.

"By inviting Maser to intergrate his works into the windows and asking him to lend his talents to re-design the shopper bag, we hope to create great synergies between fashion and street art for our customers to enjoy," said Shelly.

Often described as Ireland's answer to Banksy, the world acclaimed urban street artist, Maser's murals are vibrant and generate discussion, but the south Dubliner behind them is uber private, never gives his full name or poses for photos, preferring that his art speaks for itself.

Earlier this year, he turne a derelict petrol in Limerick into an interactive installation which was part of a transformative urban art project. The eye catching zebra stripes in punchy colours defied motorists to drive by and his BT's installation will, no doubt, have a similar effect because it is so visually arresting. ....and then there's the clothes!

Finding his work in the Grafton Street windows does not mark Maser's first first foray into fashion. Last year, the Arkansas-based artist  teamed up with his good friend, stylist  Leah Burke, to produce a series of covetable tee-shirts for the Homebird clothing label and they instantly became collectors items, not just among hipsters, but for those with an eye for colour, art and irony.

Maser studied Fine Art and Visual Communications at college and started street art about 15 years ago. In his work, he has referenced the work of old Dublin sign-writers and has transcribed the lyrics of his good pal, Damien Dempsey, in his works.

The 'Art Is ON' campaign continues at Brown Thomas until May 11, with a series of artisan events in stores. Beauty brands will have visiting make up artists and colourful launches.

Further information from Brownthomas.com

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