Created in partnership by Nike and the New York City Parks and Recreations Dept., the sportswear giant has unveiled its latest campaign, entitled New York Made, which strives to maintain its renowned level of commitment towards the city, using art to infuse and heighten the sense of community at the heart of the program. New York Made is set to introduce a whole host of community collaborations across the city, with the first designed by Brooklyn-based, iconic artist Brian Donnelly, who has kicked off the program with the opening of the New York Made: Stanton Street Courts by KAWS.
Initially beginning by designing limited edition toys and clothing, working for Disney as a freelance animator on films including 101 Dalmatians and Doug and since then shifting his attention to graffiti art, subverting the images on billboards and bus shelters. KAWS continues to delve into different sectors, expressing his vibrant, cartoon-like and instantly recognisable aesthetic as he goes.
This time, KAWS has decorated two side-by-side basketball courts as well as four hoops, explaining,
“My approach to the courts was very similar to how I would work on canvas. I wanted to create something that was true to my language, but also considerate of this being a court that people are playing on. I wanted to find the sweet spot where it works visually and functionally — how its broken up by the game’s lines and works with my images. It will have an intimate effect on the players that use the court.”
First moving to Manhattan in 1996 to live on the corner of Clinton and Stanton Street, KAWS expresses his familiarity with the park and neighbourhood as The New York Made: Stanton Street Courts, now transformed into colourful murals, alive with his bold forms and abstract interpretations of his previous designs, is located at Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
The program embodies Nike’s aim to elevate sport, community and culture through innovative collaborations.