Brooklyn-based social enterprise and candle maker Keap and Lower-East-Side art object store Object_ify139, which promotes work by New York local emerging artists, have joined forces to pay homage to Japanese matchbox art from the first half of the 20th century.
The collaboration features a set of five silk-screened and hand assembled 3-inch matchboxes, in keeping with Objecti_ify’s traditions of “sets” (anniversary box set, spring break art box, and the classic postcard sets.)
The set, part art object, part print series, is composed of five different designs that pay homage to New York City and Keap’s fragrances. Drawing from Japanese matchbox art, the simple and clean design is brought to life by the crisp and vibrant quality obtained from silkscreening. A true artist multiple in a small edition of only 50.
The main object of the collaboration is a set of 5 hand-made matchboxes, containing 3” matches. All are screen-printed and assembled in New York. Featuring artwork by Keap’s art director, Dan Abary, and inspired by Japanese matchbox art from the 1920s to 1940s. The five matchboxes come in a simple slipcase inspired by Objectify’s grid motif. The collaboration is completed by a line of four silk-screened tote bags, each paying homage to one of Keap’s four fragrances: Waves, Hot Springs, Green Market, and Wood Cabin.
The prints reflect the mood of Keap’s four fragrances while keeping Objectify’s aesthetic. The colors and designs were inspired by vintage Japanese matchboxes. Written on the side of the matchboxes is the Japanese proverb "it is better to see the spark before the fire", paying tribute to the main inspiration behind the designs as well as the basic idea of a match. “I’ve made art in various forms before, whether in print form or making music, but this is the first time I make art that is also a functional product. It’s been really fulfilling to make something that brings both utility and emotional appeal,” said Abary. Each box is hand-assembled in NYC, printed in an edition of 50.
Designed by Object_ify, these four tote bags combine Object_ify’s trademark style, with Keap’s distinctive pattern artwork, which can be found on the back of the decorative inserts that accompany their candles. The designs effectively play off the two projects’ shared motifs. The result is a simple, colorful, and unique tote bag, made in NYC.
Launch party July 21st, 6-9pm Object_ify139 store, 139 Essex St, New York
Sponsored by TY KU Sake