When I interviewed Filip Peraić, the Croatian artist behind James Harden Illustrated, about four months ago, he explained that what he found so enriching about pursuing artistic freedom within the confines of the Houston Rockets All-Star's side profile was finding wholly new ways to recreate a familiar motif.
"Creativity is best noticed when there are constraints," he told me. "[...] I’m trying to create unexpected connections and that’s why people find this project interesting. Obvious is what I want to avoid."
Well, Filip, I think you've done a pretty good job of avoiding obvious with the most recent installment of James Harden Illustrated:
Yep — "James Harden made from real hair." Again, if the goal of James Harden Illustrated is to "portray Harden in a way that neither you nor I expected" ... I mean, mission accomplished.
Peraić told me Monday that there wasn't any particular grand motivator for using hair; rather, he was just "experimenting with mediums," as he did when using flowers to recreate Harden's likeness. Except, in this case, securing the raw materials wasn't quite as lovely as taking a walk through the garden.
"For this portrait, I had to enter the creep zone and ask [the] barber for some hair leftovers," he wrote.
Just as long as you didn't enter the "weirdo" zone. I don't think your muse would enjoy that.
You're going to have to talk to your local barber if you'd like to replicate Peraić's work, but if you want to give your home or office a "creep zone" upgrade without physical clumbs of hair, you can cop a print of the work at Peraić's online store. I think Harden kind of likes that idea:
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