handpainted jackets featuring cultural icons who defied systems of oppression.
(1/1 handpainted leather varsity jacket)
Austrian Jewish actress Hedy Lamarr originally caused a scandal as a teenager when she appeared in cinema’s first-ever nude scene in 1933.
She escaped her first husband (an arms dealer who supplied Europe’s fascist dictators) by disguising herself as a maid in order to run away. After leaving Europe, she went on to become a glamorous Hollywood legend.
Although famous for her beauty, Hedy Lamarr would change the world with her brilliant mind. A genius inventor, she created a secret weapons communications system intended to defeat the Nazis in WWII. Dismissed and ignored at the time, her concept was eventually recognized decades later. Used not only for its military application, Hedy Lamarr’s invention went on to form the basis of WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth technology.
(1/1 handpainted military jacket)
Eddie Koiki Mabo was an Indigenous Torres Straight Islander who fought for Aboriginal land rights in Australia. In 1993, his 10-year legal battle resulted in a landmark decision against colonialism which finally recognized land claims for Indigenous people.
I made this piece for an auction in Toronto as part of a recent fundraiser for Australian bushfire relief. The event raised over $11,000 for firefighters and wildlife rescue and I’m proud to have been part of that.
Very special thanks to the Mabo family for their gracious permission to make this artwork. It was an honour to learn about Eddie Mabo and his legacy.
(1/1 HANDPAINTED MILITARY JACKET)
Revolutionary Nigerian musician and human rights activist Fela Kuti is a giant in Africa and around the world. Throughout his life he was arrested over 200 times, defiantly challenging government corruption in his performances.
Fela combined musical forms to create a new genre called Afrobeat, writing subversive lyrics that directly attacked the military dictatorship of his time.
Despite constant intimidation and a number of assassination attempts, Fela Kuti never stopped his fearless criticism of colonialism and greed.
“I am Fela Anikulapo Kuti. I hold death in my pouch.
I cannot die.”