Artist Daniel Arsham on How He Built a Creative Empire
When he was just 12 years old, Daniel Arsham had a near-death experience. Living in Florida with his parents, Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992, careening across the coastal state and taking with it Arsham's family house—ripping the roof off, tearing the walls apart at the seams, and sending pink fluffy insulation flying. The house was rebuilt soon after, but the traumatic experience and ensuing weeks of living in a "pre-civilization" state left an indelible imprint on Arsham.
The idea of collapsing the past and present, and the formative role architecture played in his understanding of the world, has helped shape Arsham's creative practice, which he describes as fictional archaeology. In his most celebrated series, "Future Relics," Arsham casts objects of commercialism and contemporary society as fragments of an already obsolete time.
Along with Alex Mustonen, Arsham founded the irreverently titled group Snarkitechture, and began collaborating with fashion brands like Dior (working with both Hedi Slimane and Kim Jones), KITH, and Adidas, as well as Merce Cunningham and illustrator Hajime Sorayama.
Having successfully skated across the boundaries that define genres of art, Arsham's newest gig as creative director of his hometown basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, signaled his supremacy in pop culture. On this week's episode of the Art Angle, Arsham called in from his New York studio to discuss his unlikely story, and what comes next.