Why Yellow Diva and Nike chose Phibs for collaboration
In December 2017 Nike released 70 limited-editions of their legendary Air Force 1 shoes, each pair hand-customised by Australian street artist Phibs. A decade ago Yellow Diva also invited Phibs to make his mark on a piece of their furniture for Melbourne Fringe Furniture 2008.
In those days Phibs was based in Melbourne, working out of the prolific Everfresh Studio in Collingwood. He was already famed in the neighbourhood for his distinctive style, inspired by a fascination of the natural world, mythology and symbols of different cultures. His unique decorative aesthetique is instantly recognisable, with its skillful and detailed aerosol cut-back techniques alongside strong, decorative line work and bold colour palette.
Yellow Diva put the word out on the street, seeking expressions of interest from the local graffiti community to customise a piece of upholstered furniture. Phibs responded to the call and became the commissioned artist, taking on the chair as a blank canvas and making it his own.
Referencing tribal and urban tattoo art, the anthropomorphic lines of the furniture were further invigorated by the introduction of colour and pattern, overlaying and wrapping the object. The decision to use automotive spray dyes, rather than ordinary paints, meant the pigment did not merely sit on the surface of the object but penetrated its synthetic skin to become part of the fabric itself.
And just like each of the sneakers, the customised chair is quite unique.