Carpe Diem – seize the day – is an image that evokes many kinds of emotions and questions. What is happening in the picture? Is it dangerous or just plain fun? What happened afterwards? We are not going to spoil the intrigue by giving our version, but let’s just say that it is a fantastic case of serendipity and creativity. A fashion shoot, smoke bombs of various colours, a foggy forest and a deserted highway. Click.
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To take people on a completely new journey while doing what you have come to be admired for is a creative’s dream. The latest piece by New York-based artist CJ Hendry is an epic example of just that.
She’s bought a pair of Nike AirMags for $9,000, dipped them in black paint, photographed them and then hand-drawn a massive nine-foot black-and white piece of it. She’ll auction it off in Miami at Scope Art Fair and with 100% of the profits she and The Cool Hunter are purchasing shoes for children in New York.
Yes it's still thousands of scribbles on a page, yes it's a hand-drawn enlargement of a high-end fashion item, and yes it's the same flawless attention to detail that we'd associate with CJ's work. Yet within this piece there are many cool firsts we haven't seen before.
For instance, CJ has never produced a piece that illustrates movement like this. As the paint drips off the shoes and pools at the bottom of the image, it evokes images of much greater issues. In many ways it mimics an oil spill tarnishing an irreplaceable commodity.
Also worth reflection was the outrage of some sneaker fanatics when rumors of CJ dipping the Nike AirMags in a bucket of black paint surfaced on social media.
Such a reaction is true to the time we live in, when sneaker culture and being a sneakerhead is no longer a hobby but a near-religion. To sneakerheads their collection of shoes is their holy book and each piece is like a part of scripture. When you consider CJ's bold statement in this light, it was essentially the ultimate act of blasphemy. Sneakerheads, movie fanatics and fashionistas alike have dreamt for thirty years of owning these shoes, ever since 1985 when Michael J. Fox took us back to a future that we now live in.
Not everybody can own a pair of AirMags though, even if you did have a lazy $9,000 laying around. With only 1500 pairs ever made, finding your size and a seller is a near-impossible task. This makes destroying them seem even more like the ultimate act of insanity.
But as controversial as this piece may be, there is an equal amount of generosity attached to it. CJ and The Cool Hunter will be donating 100% of the profits to charity in the form of sneakers to those less fortunate than ourselves. Instantly, this work goes from being far more than just an outrageous conversation piece.
Instead, it inspires discussion on important and socially challenging questions and at the time, attempts to do something that helps. Would you have dipped the shoes in paint? How much do material items really mean to you? At what price would you destroy something so rare and cherished? And most importantly, would you destroy that item if it meant you could be helping many people far less fortunate than yourself?
In essence CJ has taken an expensive, highly valued and sought-after item, devalued it and then transformed it into a valuable commodity – much-needed footwear - to help those who are less fortunate.
There's no affiliation with Nike, the shoes are very real and the possibilities as to how many people can be helped rely squarely on how much someone is willing to pay for this career-defining piece when it goes up for auction at her upcoming Miami show.
They say you can't understand a person's journey until you've walked a thousand miles in their shoes. This transformation of Nike AirMags is an attempt to help in that understanding.
CJ Hendry’s show in Miami was extremely successful with the Half-dipped Nike Air Mags selling for US$130,000. She is now busy turning the funds into thousands of pairs of sneakers for needy kids in New York.
The rest of the show was a huge success as well with CJ drawing her distinctive art in a transparent booth. This drew enormous crowds as most people thought the pieces were black-and-white photographs, not hand-drawn one-of-a kind works.
Several private commissions were ordered with more orders coming in after the show.
Countless celebrities came by, including Alicia Keys’s husband Swizz Beats who shared some of CJ’s work on Instagram @therealswizz.
This is another photograph from the U.S.-based photographer Kate Holstein, who brought us the Silver Surfer of Venice Beach.
This one was taken in the Yukon territory in northwest Canada known for its untouched, mountainous and sparsely populated wilderness.
The awesome power of the cold mountain scenery takes over the viewer immediately and starts the thought processes of: How cold would that be? How high is that? Is it always snow covered?
And that’s the beauty of nature photography. Even when they present inaccessible and inhospitable locations, they are somehow open to everyone’s comments and admiration.
Thanks to photographers such as Holstein, we get to see - and hang in our rooms – stunning images of breathtaking, unreachable vistas.
Even in phone-screen size, this image of a tranquil field of lupins in the volcanic moonscape of Iceland looks incredibly beautiful.
Blown up to oversize poster proportions, the same view is absolutely mesmerizing with its magical sense of undisturbed, cool silence.
In Lupins Mountain, in a dramatic contrast to the other image we feature by him – Chasing Epic – photographer Jared Chambers shows off his ability to capture different moods perfectly.
As a decorative centerpiece, Lupins Mountain works in an amazing variety of interiors. In a soft pastel-toned environment, it adds to the feel of tranquility yet holds its own as a center of attention rather than fading into the background.
In more dramatic and stark surroundings, it adds a surprising contrast of colour and softness, while also exuding strength, power and drama.
Limited Edition of 50.
We are excited to announce that CJ Hendry is working on another super-cool, exclusive series of hand-drawn images: The Alphabet!
Never one to take the easy way out, she has chosen to draw shiny, metallic helium balloons.
Drawing anything with just a pen is tough enough - impossible formost of us - but to draw massive photographic images of reflective 3D objects is incredible!
But in her typical low-key fashion, CJ Hendry says she decided to create the alphabet series from a set of shiny balloons because she "just likes the mirror effect and the reflection of the balloons, but mostly because it's just fun!"
Only one image of each letter will be available plus two special characters: $ (dollar sign) and & (ampersand).
She has just started drawing the images and half of them are already sold! If you are interested, contact us;
Framed size: 90cm x 90cm
Mesmerizing, intriguing, stunning, elegant. We could not stop staring at this enchanting photographic image of a bubble by Mathieu Missiaen and so we had to have it.
The image is called “Bubble” but we keep seeing all sorts of strange worlds in it. This piece has all the hallmarks of an eye-catching conversation piece. It does stand out. It will be noticed in whatever space you’ll hang it.
In addition, it has a hypnotizing effect. In its enigmatic core there appears to be an explanation. If you just look at it long enough, you will solve the puzzle. You will figure it out. You will see something in it. You will know how it was created.
And yet, you don’t really want to know.
We are usually pretty tough on facts. We want to know the details, but in this case, we do not want to know. It would break the spell. We just want to stare.
Buy it online here
We love design, architecture and art that exudes confidence, strength, character and drama. We love pieces that make a bold statement; that can stand alone.
Unsurprisingly, we’ve fallen for the photography work of the multi-talented American Sarah McColgan.
We have now commissioned her to create a series of photo portraits of horses exclusively for The Cool Hunter, and we are happy to introduce the first one of the series here.
The strength, stillness and sheer power of the black-and-white portrait is iconic. There is no way one can ignore this in a room.
Numerous other prestigious brands and publications have recognized Sarah McColgan’s talent. Her work has appeared, for example, in Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone and In Style.
And brands, including NFL, Pepsi and Pantene have also used her images in their campaigns.
She has also worked with many stars, including Heidi Klum, Beyonce, Kelly Ripa, Sheryl Crow, Mary J Blige and Bruce Springsteen.
At some point in time within the space of your existence you’ve imagined escaping, not to any place in particular, just merely escaping from everything you know. Winding down the windows and setting yourself loose with reckless abandonment. It’s that moment where the thrill of the moment far outweighs the thought of the final destination, a feeling that’s so unnatural within the day to day psyche
Commissioned by The Cool Hunter, this stunning and unique photo by LA based photographer Jared Chambers is reminiscent of that exact feeling. Art is intended to evoke an emotion and this piece does exactly that sitting on your wall reminding you to take a walk on the wild side every now and again.
Limited Edition of 50 - Purchase here
Contextually it’s pivotal, an artistic exploration of the metaphysical, developed in the digital; all rhymes aside, Los Angeles based artist Anthony Gargasz,’s new collection ‘Metallic Faces’ simply cannot be ignored for these three reasons.
Fifteen years ago there was no such thing as ‘Photoshop art’. The thought that art could be generated on computers would have made traditionalists cringe.
However, what Anthony has managed to achieve by using his background in digital design is breathtaking and its art in the finest sense of the word.
His work is far more than simply ‘generated’, instead it’s an array of elaborate details carefully constructed, layer upon layer to create clean and unique imagery.
Anthony follows the exact same artistic progression as somebody who paints, sculpts or draws yet the main point of difference is that his tools are a keyboard, mouse and drawing tablet.
Essentially it’s digital collaging and in the same way architects and other designers are moving into the technological age, so are artists. This is why Anthony’s work holds such contextual importance because he is using such a widely spread platform in a unique manner to create beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces.
It’s a process which has allowed him to collaborate with the likes of Paramount Pictures, VH1, Sony Pictures and Nickelodeon; designing key art.
His work does what good art should do, it takes familiarity and makes you question it. In relation to ‘metallic faces’ he uses the familiar organic form of the human head, giving it mechanical and architectural qualities.
There is a real juxtaposition of the familiar and unfamiliar in this collection. In one sense the overall form is clearly a human face yet then you begin to question if it really is as you study all the small details that hold similar properties to a luxury car design, e.g. liquid fluidity and metallic solidity.
In many ways these pieces are on a similar frequency to Joseph Kosinski’s 2010 remake of the 1982 hit ‘Tron’. Kosinski used objects people would be familiar with, however repurposed them, gave them digital qualities and this in turn forced the viewer to consider what life could be like in the not too distant future.
Anthony Gargasz has done exactly this by repurposing the human face and giving it digital qualities.
Another unique aspect of Anthony’s work is the movement each piece seems to have, despite it being a still print. Each individual element meticulously flows into another through a variance of colors, shadows and tones; as to suggest some sort of motion far beyond being passive.
It’s more than just a series of conversation pieces, in fact each piece appears to be having an internal conversation with itself. How each element comes together and blends strikes a chord with the way music is composed or some sort of digital brain-storming process.
Is this collection the story of a bionic man? Is it some sort of futuristic exploration? Perhaps it’s a representation of how complex the human form is, either way the beauty is in looking at each piece and trying to decipher its true intention for yourself.
Anthony Gargasz has well and truly found his way onto the list of The Cool Hunters favourite artists and has been commissioned to complete three very impressive prints. Purchase from our online store here - David Mousa.