Background: Farias is one third of the 'BUMF' Collective, an ongoing online exhibition that involves the creations of work following rules set by the collective. The 'TYPELACE' typeface was created in 2009 as a response to a very specific brief set by 'BUMF': to create a typeface using a single found object. Two years later it is getting its first airing as part of 'THE 3D TYPE BOOK'.
(Courtesy of Art&Sole)
Farias uses a pair of old, beat up Converse Jack Purcell sneakers to provide the found object element. The standardized lacing system with its systemized lace holes acts as the all important grid to create the typeface and a full character set as seen below. It is safe to say that the final product ticks all the right boxes of the typeface brief. Rather than its artistic merits, the seeming plethora of different looks achievable through the whole character set would suggest to have opened the door on the latest chapter in the customization of kicks. Simply from the success of these images it seems that by lacing up any combination of letter, number and colour, any pair of kicks wether new or old is going to have something new to bring to the table.
Through Farias's incorporation of a found, beat up pair of kicks, new sneakerhead disciples might find a lot more potential in this form of recycling of old kicks. For so long image, look and style has dictated the importance of kicks being new, clean and kept - even to the point of never being worn. There comes a point with every sneakers life, that its capabilities of being fresh are all but over. Rather than the renouncing of such facts, Farias has inadvertently promoted the fatigues of the old in his production of a look inclined more towards difference and the anti aesthetic statement.
The catch 22 is that in his creating of something new, Farias's historical referencing of the bygone days of sneaker customization only increases the looks credos in the sneaker community. In an age when innovation is a breath of fresh air to sneakerheads, the reception of this visual, anti aesthetic gesture will be labelled as something new and therefore fresh so by renouncing its artistic claims to be anything other than anti aesthetic.