Asap Rocky Art
I noticed the Rocky has been on the move in a major way with his recent imprint AWGE.
This step is noticeable and asking more of him as a creative within the most potent culture. Expressed directly and for a bigger purpose than pushing himself into the spotlight. Asap Rocky Art
Rocky collaborates with Ian Connor, Playboi Carti, and Luke Sabbat to name a few.
Definitely, it feels like art for the sake of expression. They’ve found an aesthetic and pressed forward with it in a vein similar to the influences he’s cited regularly. Master P’s No Limit and Houston’s DJ Screw. This is the same but on a higher level, the opportunity to reach more viewers and thus influence taste has never been higher.
This is what happens when someone that understands aesthetic has the money and time to build creatively. It reminds me of all that went into making Kanye’s MBDTF one of his most celebrated and in-depth works. All facets led to the experience of the music being phenomenal. And although Rocky isn’t as respected as a musician, he definitely has all the tools to make impact and influence visually.
Let’s take a dive and understand what’s likely to happen and where the movement could take us next.
Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’installation’, and it was the world was introduced into two of AWGE’s core members: Robert Gallardo and Tan Camera. Gallardo and Camera (real name Kimi Selfridge), were credited as the masterminds behind the project, with Gallardo taking the lead on creative management and Selfridge as responsible for much of the installation’s photography and design work. AWGE’s scope has not been restricted to audio. In 2016 rumors of a possible collaboration with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were confirmed, with Rocky frequently seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy coat. Similarly, Rocky collaboration with GUESS was holistically conceptualized by the AWGE team. The launch of the clubhouse, itself installation and a store welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles creative scene. Perhaps most importantly, AWGE branding has featured prominently on two of the Mob’s most recent music videos; those for Playboi Carti’s breakout hit “Magnolia” and the posse cut homage to Raf Simons, “RAF.” With these two high profile movies gaining wide-scale attention and millions of views, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Be music videos it clothes, or events that are expansive, one thing is for certain: AWGE has surprises in store. When seen on any smartphone, Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a continuous visual experience, surpassing the richly squared arrangement of Instagram. In the midst of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is the realization of their creative vision their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles, thus far. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ label Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from DJ Virgil Abloh and designer, as well as members of the A$ AP Mob. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the area was carefully curated using Midnight Rave branding in addition to a moving L.E.D bar above the DJ booth. The photographer’s work is instantly recognizable for its media collage style references, and off-the-cuff references to iconic brands like Palace and Goyard. Since the relaunch, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple throughout the A$AP Mob’s social networking platforms.
It is most noteworthy since the inaugural project of the AWGE collective, the secret cabal of artists, stylists, and founders of A$ AP Rocky while, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important time for the artist identity. In this sense, it is a testament to the desire for secrecy of the collective that even whilst consistently putting out content, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself in mystery. We reached out to a few members of the crew, but got the same reply:”The first rule about AWGE is that you don’t talk about AWGE.” In addition to the night’s performances, fans who were were able to purchase a limited collaboration T-shirt by Abloh’s brand Off-White and AWGE. Refusing to be confined by the limitations of one-dimensional art management, it is perhaps in this multi-disciplinary manner which we’ll see venture farther in the future.
In describing her involvement to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photographs shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Though the day of the relaunch watched Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this exceptional reimagining of his social media presence through daring, new visual aesthetics motivated many of the artist’s youthful followers to rethink their own Instagram profiles and ushered in a new era of iPhone curators. Fast forward two years and AWGE has stayed, by-and-large. While the collective was shouted out by noteworthy A$ AP affiliate Ian Connor, he stayed quiet. Since their first job, the collective’s emblem has been spotted in connection with almost all the Mob’s creative endeavors. The crew’s profile has been raised in August, however, when A$AP Rocky announced the aptly-titled AWGEST: a month-long takeover by AWGE and the A$AP Mob, which featured several record releases, culminating in the release of this Cozy Tapes Vol. Two and the launching of a new AWGE website and merch line. Seen often on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the website launch, the merch collection featured AWGE trucker hats in red, green or blue, as well as a selection. What about the name what the hell does AWGE mean? “The first rule of AWGE is do not ask questions about AWGE,” Rocky replied when asked by The New York Times. “No one needs to know what the letters stand for. We all know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” Furthermore, in October of the same year, in the run up to the launch of Cozy Tapes Vol. The movie, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French film La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The short film was bending a workout in cross-discipline expression, its creative muscle. The new awgeshit.com website gave fans their first look into the collective’s inner workings, removing the proverbial veil that had surrounded AWGE up until this point. The site’s”About” section clearly lists the members of the AWGE team. In addition to Robert Gallardo and Ian Connor, contributors are listed next to their creative roles: Matt Henson — Fashion, Shane Gonzales — Layout, Kamil Abbas — Creative, Hidjifilms — Video, Ben Baller — Jewellery, Hec Lunas Frans — Producers. It.