I know what you are wondering, and YES, that gas mask is made from a pair of J's. I am pretty sure you are asking yourself who in their damn mind would rip up a pair of Jordan's, and the answer is simple: someone who doesn't give a damn. And I say this with the utter most respect and praise for Gary Lockwood, because for him, it is about a vision and exploring unchartered water, even if it comes at a cost of ripping apart expensive shoes. My friend Neyson and I, whom was featured on "Can't Knock the Hustle," were collaborating on one of his hat projects when he introduced me to Gary Lockwood, or Freehand Profit which he is popularly known as in the street art scene. I love coming across new art that just blows your mind away, and when Neyson showed me the gas mask above I went straight to my computer and researched this dudes story and art. After going over his blog and work, right away I knew I had to reach out to him because his work screams "Can I Live?" I wanted to feature him to present another example of what happens when your work ethic matches your passion, and for Freehand Profit it was expressed through his love of shoes and masks. Born in the Midwest and raised in the D.C./Northern Virginia area, Gary pursued his studies in art, and when he recieved his Bachelor's in Fine Arts he made his way to the City of Angels.
On May 17th, 2010 Gary began a journey that would eventually catapult him to where he is today. Inspired by Noah Scalin's Skull-A-Day series, Gary decided to start a MASK365 Campaign which involved designing and assembling a different gas mask every day for a year straight. A lofty and ambitious project, Gary pushed through and began testing materials and concepts, and 365 gas masks later he completed his campaign and officially the World took notice of the talent Gary brought to the table. On Facebook you can see the various concepts he came up with, using old materials like used ladies bags and animal masks, which is one of my favorite series done by Lockwood, and above you can see one of the samples from the series. They are a lot simpler than the shoes, but you can appreciate the experimentation he does working with different items and materials. Artists go through a rugged process trying to find themselves and molding their art work into what they want. Practice makes perfect, and with a year straight of practicing using the unique mold of a gas mask, Gary's artistic ability took off. You can visit his MASK365 Facebook page to see some of his incredible work he did for his project. Check it out!!
The masks below are some of the famous "sneaker gas masks" he is known for. As you can see Gary does not discriminate, he doesn't just use Jordan's but all kinds of kicks.
Can't thank Gary enough for doing this interview for "Can I Live?" As the first official artist feature on my blog, I hope this is the first of many. Always inspiring to come across new kinds of art, but for me I love seeing the journey the artist has traveled to get to where they are. For me that is the most important part; the experimentation, struggle, inspiration, drive and passion is what makes creating something worth it at the end of the day. Check out the dope interview I did with Gary"Freehand Profit" Lockwood below!!
Below are the links to Gary's Social Media accounts such as his blog, twitter and Instagram. I wish this blog post can talk about all the work he has done and been up to, but I would literately need months to do that. So, go on his website where you can check out the latest work by Freehand Profit, any events he will be at and other cool interviews he has done such as checking out the second part of his interview with SNTV. (Part I is below). Make sure to follow all his accounts and support his creative work. Also, check out his clothing line and make sure to get a copy of his book he just released late last year!
The Hip Hop Nerd by Freehand Profit