HARRISBURG – Murage Apparel (Murage) will drop its initial line of streetwear on Wednesday, September 18.
The Harrisburg, Pa.-based company’s fall/winter collection includes 10 original designs that are a celebration of fine art and pop imagery.
“The fall/winter line includes a selection of memorable designs and archetypes that have permeated the public consciousness throughout history,” said Murage Creative Director Bryan Speece. “This collection demonstrates that the line between fine art and pop art is thin. Imagery once reserved for the museum wall is pushed to the streets.”
The pieces titled Monet and Mondrian honor two legendary artists, Claude Monet and Piet Mondrian.
The Monet shirt and hoodie are inspired by his famous series of paintings entitled Water Lilies. Done in an impressionist style, the print captures the vibrancy of the lilies against the muted green of the lily pads.
Many of Murage’s designs push the boundaries of traditional illustration, exploring lines and visual textures. For example, there is a simple application of lines in mapping space and proportion in the Mondrian design.
Of the 10 pieces, six designs are available as both a T-shirt and a fleece hoodie. These are distinctive because of the circular “murage” motif that is found on the back of each piece while the front contains a branded stylized emblem.
Three of the pieces in the collection are created by David Brener, a Harrisburg artist and graphic designer whose art is a homage to comic books.
The design titled Manhattan is inspired by Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen comic books, and its cosmic vibe utilizes blocks of color representative of bursts of energy.
“This design is a nod to these omnipotent comic book characters or Gods who come down and either save or doom humanity,” Brener said. “The form in the design takes on a comic book physique and leaves you wondering what are the motivations of this character. Is it benevolent or is it here to cause chaos?”
Manhattan is a stark departure from the other two more linear creations Brener crafted for Murage.
Skull is based on the Sugar Skulls Brener saw while on his honeymoon in Mexico. A lifelong fan of human skull art, the design contains many deep layers of linear texture, some of which are challenging for the human eye to see.
“Technically, it was very challenging to create,” Brener said. “It plays off both positive and negative space. There is more power to the design on the black tee and hoodie, but on the white version, the imagery takes on a whole new look.”
The final design created by Brener is called Hexagram, which pays tribute to the heavy music song of the same name by the group called Deftones. The use of multiple layers of linear design leaves the viewer with an impression of a skull instead of the outright representation of a skull, according to Brener.
Brener noted that his influences and favorite artists include: Jim Lee, the Co-Publisher and Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics; Rob Liefeld, a prolific comic book creator; Jack Kirby, a comic book artist who co-created Fantastic Four, Hulk and Captain America, among others; and Tracie Ching, an illustrator and graphic designer best known for her alternative movie posters.
Galactasaurus by Kenny Johns, a Harrisburg-based artist, depicts a laser gun-wielding T-Rex in outer space. The design draws upon his love for pulp and sci-fi graphic novels and celebrates the works of some of his favorite authors, including Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov and Jules Verne.
Murage Apparel can be purchased online at murage.co. Murage has a component of giving back to artists and street art-based organizations by donating a dime of every dollar to support the proliferation of street art.
“Studies have shown that social offerings and aesthetics are drivers of attachment to cities and that cities with the highest levels of attachment have the highest rate of GDP growth,” Speece said. “Murage believes public art beautifies our communities while possessing the power to spark our imagination, ignite creativity, and stimulate conversation.”
Founded earlier this year, Murage was created out of a passion for the arts and the company shares that passion through its streetwear.
“Murage celebrates art in all of its forms, but especially street art, which brings art to the masses,” says Murage’s Creative Director Bryan Speece. “Murage was born to promote and perpetuate public art because its intrinsic value contributes to a higher quality of life.”