Oxygen's Triple Artist Family Affair
Collaborations can be tricky. When multiple artists come together to create a single work, all those different points of view and ways of working can rub up against one another to challenge the creative process. Oxygen’s new reality competition show, “Street Art Throwdown,” needed a campaign to express everything that the show encapsulated. The necessary concept reached beyond the capabilities of a single artist, so they went further. True to the show, Oxygen needed to express the full range of pop art and competition, so they needed multiple artists. And they chose three different artists from B&A. Each of these artists are comfortably a part of our roster, and their collaboration created a seamless collection of work that outpaced potential, and the process was as smooth as could be.
A combination live action and animation required a base of solid photography and video. Kareem Black's photography, both in still and motion, allowed a firm base for the progress of the project. Timed trials and high stakes situations create a crucible of energy on the show, all surrounded by the creation of good art. That nearly manic pressure spirals and focuses in on itself, so Kareem’s imagery had to highlight the pointed dynamism. Capturing no fewer than six artists running through the same streets that will find themselves the focus of the throwdown, Kareem was able to grab ahold of that energy bringing the competitors to the forefront. Since Kareem's work was the first step of a larger process, he had to complete his job within the context of what ilovedust, the illustrators, and Shotopop, the animators, were going to need. “What we’re trying to do is documentary, shaky visuals, very kintetic energy. That’s what we’re doing with the stills,” explains Kareem. “For the motion it was a little more planned out, with the camera on tracks. That makes it easier for Shotopop to follow the motion of the shot.” Then Kareem turned over his work to the other artists.
On top of Kareem’s images are illustrations made to enhance the story, created by ilovedust. Though the competition is between artists, their work is what will be judged. Each week, each project, each challenge is a character in and of itself. Not only are the pieces what will be measured against each other, they are created, fostered, and completed on screen. The full lives of this work will be experienced by the audience and will take on independent lives. ilovedust’s illustrations on top of the still images show the separate, but parallel focus of these two elements. By bringing in a whole other creative force to complete this portion of the campaign, the story that Oxygen is telling for “Street Art Throwdown,” grabs the full depth of both pieces.
Finally, with Kareem’s presentation of the competitors, and ilovedust’s composition of their work, all that was left to express was how these elements come together in a live state. Shotopop was onboard to bring movement into the illustrations, tying them into Kareem’s videography for the full experience. As opened spray paint cans unfurl their paint like clouds of fabric, and brushes race to the finish line, the energy and event are composed in movement. “You can’t not have fun animating those illustrations. They’re super playful,” says Casper Franken of Shotopop. “It’s the kind of project where it’s hard not to have fun because there’s so many cool, quirky, fun things in it.” It is more than a static metaphor, it becomes a complete experiential representation.
The show, that premieres February 3, promises to find the next Banksy. But that’s for the judges to decide.