GONZO247's downtown "Houston Is Inspired" mural is some of the most recognizable art in the city, so quintessentially Houston that it appears on a Snapchat geofilter here. GONZO247's latest work, though, is on a new kind of canvas: a kimono.
The artist partnered with Kimono Zulu to create "International Spice," a vibrant piece of wearable art inspired by the classic Indian folio "Shiva on His Vimana (Aircraft) with Himalaya" featured in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's ongoing exhibition, Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India. "International Spice" retains the contemporary abstract graffiti style GONZO247 is known for while also serving as his interpretation of the aforementioned classic composition. Rich shades of blue painted on the bottom panels of the kimono conjure images of Jodhpur, also called the Blue City, and its cobalt-splashed houses.
"When I looked at the painting I instantly gravitated toward the layered waves and thought about the collection of layered graffiti tags you'd seen on a wall over time," GONZO247 said. "I enjoyed the challenge of curating this collision of cultures while finding the right balance between the traditional design of the original kimono, the painting I was inspired by, and the movement within my style of art."
The unveiling was but one component of Kimono Zulu's three-day trunk show at the MFAH Shop, which Tina Zulu deemed "the perfect venue to showcase wearable art." Other artist and designer collaborations of reimagined kimonos included those by Selven O'Keef Jarmon, Janavi M. Folmsbee, Uyen-My Pham, Emilie Duval, Christy Karll, Judy Masliyah, Katsola, Shelbi Nicole, Jennifer Gabiola, Mina Gaber, and Elijah Coccetti. Guests shopped one-of-a-kind creations and Kimono Zulu's collection of over 200 vintage kimonos and accessories and enjoyed Japanese green tea and desserts from KUU Restaurant.