The Art & Sole Cortez iD Project

Four artists, four special edition Art & Sole covers, and four fresh Nike Cortez sneakers. As well as the official release for the new mini edition Art & Sole book, last night saw the launch party for the Art & Sole Cortez iD Project - our very special tie-in collaboration with NIKEiD.

To celebrate both the release of the new mini-edition book and the launch of the classic Nike Cortez silhouette on NIKEiD.comIntercity (authors/designers of Art & Sole) commissioned four artists, Jiro Bevis, Matthew NicholsonShantell Martin and Rose Stallard to create an artwork for one of four limited Art & Sole book covers. Working with different media; print, moving image, sculpture and sneaker-art respectively, each artist’s cover work has been packaged alongside a pair of color-coordinated Art & Sole Cortez sneakers, and these special packs will be available only through the newly opened NIKEiD Studio at Boxpark, the world’s first pop-up mall in Shoreditch, London.

The artists’ brief was simply to interpret the Cortez sneaker using a specifically assigned color - red, magenta, green or blue - which correlate to the category-signifying contents dots of Art & Sole. The Cortez was one of the first icons of running, and to celebrate its 40th anniversary the brief also requested a response to the ‘history of running’.

The four Art & Sole Cortez sneakers are tonal grey, referencing the blank-canvas shoe color that is synonymous with NIKEiD, and have a gum outsole that pays homage to the first ever Cortez. An embroidered ampersand on the heel and a color-coded accent in the lining of the shoe coordinate with the associated artwork.

The color red has been represented by Jiro Bevis, an illustrator currently living and working in London. Bevis’ work is influenced by a number of elements including a love of his motherland, Japan, nature and counter culture from the 60s, 70s and 80s - which he was heavily exposed to as a child through his father’s comic collection and older brother’s records. Bevis’ style can be defined by his use of vivid colors, bold lines, voyeuristic eyeballs, brick walls and pizza. To find out more about Bevis' inspiration for this project, read our mini interview with him here.

The color magenta was assigned to Matthew Nicholson, a designer based in London, whose work carries a hand-made aesthetic which was inspired by a childhood of making. Nicholson’s personal practice explores the boundaries of the materials he uses by re-appropriating and re-analyzing their expected functions. Read our mini interview with Nicholson here to find out more about his inspiration for this project

The color blue was given to London-based Rose Stallard, an image-maker who mixes drawing with found imagery to create fanzine-like illustration work. Stallard screen-prints onto canvas, t-shirts or paper, and then re-works the images with materials such as felt-tip pens, embroidery and paint. Stallard is also one of the founders/creative directors of screen-printing studio/shop Print Club London. To find out more about Stallard's inspiration for this project, read our mini interview with her here.

The color green has been interpreted by visual artist Shantell Martin. From London to Tokyo and New York, Martin expands conventional definitions of drawing and animation in the design, fashion and music industries. Her light projections have been featured in iconic locations such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and at the Shibuya and Harajuku crossings in Tokyo. Martin has also has created murals in a range of contexts - from the private homes of celebrities, to the faces of models and friends. To find out more about Martin's inspiration for this project, and to see the full moving image piece she created (which is included on a Cortez-shaped USB flash-drive with every book/sneaker pack), read our mini interview with her here. As shown in the images above, Martin was also kind enough to draw live on willing participants at the launch.

The launch party itself was held at the NIKEiD Studio Boxpark. Along with opening the world’s first ever NikeFuel Station, Nike has also launched a new NIKEiD Studio on the first floor of the Boxpark site where customers can design and customise their own performance and lifestyle footwear. The NIKEiD space, which is a fusion of luxury boutique, a tailor’s workshop and a design library, features a 20 metre long oak bookcase filled with other creatively inspiring books, as well as showcasing products to stimulate the imagination.

Music for the launch was supplied by the very talented Mikill Pane, Will Power and B.Traits, and additional activities included a silent auction (to win one of the book/sneaker packs in the colour of the winner's choice) with proceeds going to local youth-led charity Art Against Knives, plus a design a Cortez iD competition (judged by Art & Sole), and there was even colour-coordinated food in the form of pie & mash from Pieminister - with red, magenta, green and blue-coloured mash to match the lining of the four Art & Sole Cortez iD shoes. Thanks must also go to Becks and Havana Club for kindly supplying the night's liquid refreshments

Priced at £125, each colourway of the book/sneaker pack has been produced in a limited run of 40, meaning there are only 160 packs available in total. The packs will only be available through NIKEiD at Boxpark, and the release will be staggered, starting tomorrow with Shantell Martin (11am Saturday 17 March), followed by Jiro Bevis (11am Sunday 18 March), then Matthew Nicholson (11am Monday 19 March), and finally Rose Stallard (11am Tuesday 20 March)

Also available at the NIKEiD Studio Boxpark (and through the Art & Sole shop) are screenprints of Jiro Bevis' Art & Sole Cortez iD Project artwork (entitled Beer, Waffles & Nuts), as well as the new (standard edition) mini Art & Sole book

The artwork created for the project, by all four artists, will be on display at the NIKEiD Studio Boxpark until mid April 2012

Event Photography by Leo Cackett