Interview: Dilara Durmus, TrendBasket
Translation: Dervis Goksun, TrendBasket
Here at TrendBasket, we love and respect everything about basketball. With this ideology, we have created an ‘unusual’ content for our readers. I used the term ‘unusual’ not because we are not creating these kind of contents but because someone is doing ‘unusual’ things with one of the main elements of the game we deeply love. This content is all about him, Victor Solomon. An Artist who shares the same love with us but with a unique talent.
Have you ever listened to a music or read a book and wondered all the reasons behind those lyrics and words? That’s what we felt like when we came across with Victor Solomon’s designs and reached out to him to listen and learn how he discovered his passion to help art to meet sports. Meet Mr. Solomon and check out his website, Literally Balling, to find more about his designs.
The first thing that comes into our minds when we hear or see the name ‘Victor Solomon’ is: ‘Elegant hoops’. But surely there is a story behind this successful journey. Can you share your story with young people around who are still looking to find their passion in life?
”For me, the project was born from a natural love of the game. I grew up in Boston at the end of the Larry Bird era, so basketball was always a part of my life. I bounced around and worked in a number of different mediums as a creative and storyteller – while I was in San Francisco I got interested in the idea of taking the rich symbolism of stained glass and elevating the working-class backboard symbol to investigate the class journey the sport can activate. I apprenticed under a handful of stained glass masters for a year to learn the craft and once I shared the pieces they organically grew a following and quickly turned into a full-scale practice.”
Literally Balling? Where does that come from?
”Literally Balling the term just plays on the double entendre of Balling as in playing basketball and Balling as in showing off ones wealth.”
We have seen the hoop you designed for Kevin Durant. Is there anybody else you got inspired of?
”All of the designs I implement are inspired by classic stained glass designs from churches – having this provenance for the design genesis I think helps tie the story back to it’s symbolic narrative.”
Do you accept requests and design for people or do you design the hoops based on your taste?
”I have been asked to make commissions and design collaboratively with brands and collectors but whenever I can I try to guard that part of the process for myself.”
You have made a big difference with your hoops designs. What kind of designs shall we expect to see from Victor Solomon?
”Laid low for a lot of this year developing some new concepts and have a lot that will be unveiled in 2018 that will take the project much further than just the backboards…”
We have heard about your gallery in New York, which we highly recommend our followers to check it out. Are you planning on expanding this to the other parts of the world?
”The next show will be in LA during All Star Weekend in February, then a show in Houston and working on the details for a big show in Istanbul sometime in the spring. Really excited to bring a collection to Turkey!”
What is the ultimate goal of Victor Solomon?
”My main goal has always and will continue to be the pursuit of autonomy. I’ve never been interested in wealth or fame or celebrity – just the freedom to continue to explore my own projects at my own pace.”
Let’s talk about LeBron’s interview with the GQ. They are both world famous brands and your design was the third element of the cover. What kind of feeling you saw the outcome and how did you feel first when you heard about this opportunity?
”This was an amazing honor – I had been connected with GQ after my New York opening and we just never found a moment to collaborate until the Lebron cover story came up. I was in New York at the time doing an installation when the call came up, so had a quick meeting at their offices about the project, and then flew to LA the next day to shoot it. Very cool moment and very appropriate for the King.”