Buck, Up!

Luhring Augustine Gallery

March 20, 2023

While many of our wallcoverings are full-on Flavor Paper concoctions, we also team up with celebrated artists to realize unique conceptual environments. But, hopefully you already know that. One of the talents we recently partnered with for his solo exhibition Little Brother at Luhring Augustine gallery in NY is Buck Ellison…a Los Angeles based visual artist who’s known for his photography and, according to our team, for being an awesome human to work with. 

The show, which includes photos, film and Flavor (more on that in a minute), examines how whiteness and privilege are sustained and broadcast as they relate to Erik Prince – founder of the private security firm Blackwater – and how Ellison imagines he might have appeared on his Wyoming ranch in 2003 when the firm received its first U.S. contracts to engage in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. To bring it all together, Ellison hired actors, rummaged through everything from tax filings to transcripts of congressional hearings and more. All of which was dynamically distilled and presented. And, he tagged us in to produce custom wallpaper that, as the gallery notes, “is an expansion of his exploration into the world of his subject; inspired by Prince’s often-cited assertion that his plan for Afghanistan was modeled after the British East India Company, the motifs examine that company’s introduction of opium into China in the 1830s.” To cook up the design we worked in lockstep with Ellison and his studio to translate his artwork into an eight color screenprint. While that might seem like cake, the whole process involved our own master mixologist, Jon Sherman, reimagining the content into an engaging repeat, developing films, burning screens, color matching, and our handscreen pros well, nailing it. Oh, and doing it all within a month’s time. No sweat. Never let anyone see you sweat. But, as you can see, the mission was a success and both Ellison and the gallery were thrilled…and our entire krewe was, too! This mash up was an excellent example of what true collaboration can be and should be, and we’re honored to be a part of it! You can learn more about our new friend and his show here. Definitely check it out if you can!     

Filed under: Custom Work, Design News