There is no feeling quite like having your work appreciated by the one who inspired it. Artist and sneaker enthusiast Mony Zakhour paired his passions and made that dream come true recently when he passed along his Mars to Brooklyn painting to none other than Spike Lee. Based in Toronto but hailing from Hailfax, the painter of Lebanese background has been honing his self-taught craft since 2008. His work on canvas speaks for itself, but his interest in kicks has not been touched on. We brushed paths with Mony to talk sneaker love and art inspiration. What does it take to go hard in the paint like Mony? Read on to find out.
Mars to Brooklyn by Mony Zakhour
Nice Kicks: You recently gave a painting to Spike Lee. How did that come about?
Mony Zakhour: I bartend at a bar in Kensington Market, Toronto. I had shown a friend of mine, McLean Greaves, an image of my Mars Blackmon piece. He told me that Spike Lee was a former client of his and he could get in touch with him to see if he’d be interested in having the painting. The next day my friend sent me the screenshot of the Twitter conversation with Spike tweeting, ‘Send it to this address.’ Spike never paid for it, and I never asked for him to pay for it. I was just happy to give him the painting. When Spike himself sent a Tweet directly to thank me, I couldn’t have been happier.
Tweet from Spike Lee to Mony Zakhour
Nice Kicks: What did that mean to you as a fan and as an artist?
Money Zakhour: Spike Lee is one of the most influential figures in my life. I’ve been a fan of his work for as long as I can remember. So, it meant a lot to me.
Nice Kicks: What’s the first pair of shoes you bought with art money?
Money Zakhour: It was the Supra Skytop TUF; the fall edition in red, black, and grey. They’re the only pair of Supra’s I’ve ever owned. I’m hoping to buy a pair of the Supra Cutlers with my next commission.
Nice Kicks: When did you become interested in sneakers?
Money Zakhour: My fondest and first sneaker memory was when I was eight years old. The Jordan 8s were released that year and my cousins, my brother, and I needed to have them. That Christmas, my parents, aunts, and uncles all surprised us with a pair of shoes each. I’ve been a sneaker fan ever since.
Air Jordan 8 "Playoff"
Nice Kicks: What importance do sneakers hold in your life?
Money Zakhour: I’m big into fashion, and I also played ball my junior and senior years in high school, so my closeness to sneakers was and still is major. Whether for sports or fashion, my shoe game is important.
Nice Kicks: What’s the sneaker culture like where you live?
Money Zakhour: In Toronto, the sneaker scene is vast and constantly seems to be growing a lot like snapbacks and vintage clothing. There isn’t much you can’t get in Toronto. There are sneaker boutiques and vintage shops everywhere.
Nice Kicks: How do your passions for footwear and art intersect?
Money Zakhour: Sneakers have become synonymous with urban/hip-hop culture whether it be Run DMC’s adidas, break dancers and their Chuck Taylors, or Buggin’ Out losing his mind on the corner after having his Jordan’s scuffed. There has always been a connection. My paintings have an urban sensibilitym and I’ve been influenced by artists like Spike Lee who speak from that experience. The two naturally go hand in hand.
Nice Kicks: I’ve read that Basquiat is a big influence to you. What are your thoughts on the Reebok line inspired by his work?
Money Zakhour: Reebok is re-inventing its image, and I love that they incorporated Basquiat’s work opposed to using a Chagall or Warhol. It gives a vibrant and urban feel to them. I’d have to say the Pumps are my favorite Reebok/Basquiat pairing.
Reebok Pump Omni Lite from the Basquiat Collection
Read the rest of Stroke of a Genius: 1 on 1 with Painter Mony Zakhour
© Ian Stonebrook for NiceKicks.com, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |
Add to del.icio.us
Post tags: 1 on 1, Interviews, Mony Zakhour