Mortality, disease, violence and disaster are all sources of fear, and often, we respond to fear with reactionary behavior. Since the beginning of recorded time, our obsession with the shortcomings of our own humanity have led to the creation of epic tales that often feature protagonists who successfully conquer death, find the key to immortality, or even eradicate entire races of people who are perceived as threats.
Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh, the duo behind Art Comes First, consider this history in the context of modern times. Having rediscovered the Nina Simone quote, “an artist should reflect the time,” the two endeavored to share an editorial that reflected on the current state of affairs around the globe. These days, violence in all forms seems to take center stage – one only has to turn on the news to see it – causing many to question whether we have truly become desensitized to the pain of others.
From protests sparked by civilian deaths at the hands of “militarized” police forces to xenophobia-driven rhetoric leaking its way into popular culture, it would seem we are in a era where fear runs rampant, and our reactions to our own feelings are increasingly extreme.
“Fear is, without a doubt, the driver of brutal behavior on both sides of the divide. The divide between ‘classes,’ the divide between law enforcement and ‘the crowd,’ the divide between cultures, religions, races and anything that can be depicted as “the other,” say the artists about the project.
Scroll through the gallery to see how ACF brought fear and fashion together.
Also don’t forget to check out the ACF x Denham capsule collaboration here.