Shoot For Your Dreams in Matthew Senna’s L.A. Art Exhibit
In a pop-up gallery in Downtown Los Angeles two Saturdays ago, conceptual artist Matthew Senna showcased his newest work, STUDY SESSION 001, a series centered around resin-cast Jordan 1 sneakers. Senna joined forces with creative agency, 3125c, to create a unique interactive experience where viewers became active participants in turning hoop dreams into reality. The attendees—who ranged from members of the art, fashion, and music worlds to sneaker heads hoping to get their hands on one of Senna’s limited edition Jordan sculptures—were also given the opportunity to enter a competition that would give one of them a $10,000, 24K gold-plated Jordan.
Showcased at the exhibit were Senna’s characteristic, coveted Jordans—they’ve been commissioned by Drake, Usher, and Common (to name just a few)—cast in white, red, and black resin. When asked about the inspiration behind this show, Senna said, “The entire exhibition was based around being a child and some of the experiences I had growing up dreaming about one day becoming great, studying the great, and putting in the time to try and become better.” For everyone, the show served as a reminder of childhood dreams and the ample effort it often takes to turn these dreams into a reality.
The first test to achieving your dream in Senna’s art world? Answer five questions about Michael Jordan. From there, you entered the white room—in which everything was white, from the bed to the stacks of shoeboxes surrounding the bed, to the walls on which the words “Dream” were painted. It is, quite literally, a monochromatic dream. At the top of one of the stacks of shoeboxes sat a single white resin-cast Jordan.
To the left of the white room was a small enclave with a free-throw line drawn in chalk at the entrance, and with “SHOOT FOR YOUR DREAM” sitting below it. Two notepads sat on the ground—one asked, “What would you do if you were not afraid of failure?” and the other remained blank. For Senna, all of this depicted the first step to realizing your dreams: identifying it and shooting for it.
The second exhibition consisted of a room awash in red—it felt like stepping into a red, life-size box—that the artist made himself. A red bench was situated on the right, and a set of red lockers sat at the back wall, atop of which sat Senna’s red resin-casted Jordan. The number “23” figured prominently—on the jerseys hanging in the lockers and also painted conspicuously on the ceiling. If there was ever an homage to the great Michael Jordan in an exhibit full of Jordans, this red room was it. The significance? An essential part of achieving your dreams is studying and learning about the pros who come before you.
When asked about his main sources of inspiration, Senna told us, “My high school art teacher took me under her wing and introduced me to Warhol’s work early on, as well as some smaller, local, mixed-media artists that really had a big impact on shaping the way I viewed art and the way I approached it from that time forward.”
The third room—the black room—was a dimly lit space in which a black resin-cast Jordan sat on a pillar in the center of the room. It was hard to notice upon first walking into the room, but if you had taken a second to look around, you would’ve soon realize that you were standing on a basketball court. The task? To make one out of three shots. The twist? Seeing that everything was coated in black, the hoops were incredibly hard to discern. Those lucky enough to make it were given a raffle ticket and a chance to win the grand prize.
Images by Tucker Leary.
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