Every artist meets people in the course of their careers who challenge them, inspire them or just push them a little outside their comfort zone from time to time. If you’re a lucky artist, that someone pushes you in a direction that makes you grow creatively and opens new doors for you. That’s exactly the kind of relationship I’ve had with the extraordianary Danish rapper Per Vers.
Per and I have worked together many times. Every project he throws my way is a new challenge that gives me a unique problem to solve and a creative experience where I grow substantially as an artist. From music videos to custom clothing to limited album artwork, Per has called on me many times to bring my own visual talents to augment his products and performances. He is a masterful musician and rhymesmith, but moreover, a very clever artist with a nac for coming up with new ways to present himself and his music.
We’ve worked together many times over the past 5 years, but there are a few projects that really stick out. So without further adieu, here are the best of the best – my top 5 collaborations with Per Vers.
#5: Mixed Ape Music Label Night I
Back in 2012, Per and his label mates from Mixed Ape records put on their first special release concert with all the members performing to celebrate their new LPs, EPs and singles. Per asked me to create a set of 3 limited edition boxes that would hold special give aways for lucky audience members. Kriswontwo filmed a video showing the process of the creation of “The Monkeyboxes,” which were given out at the Mixed Ape Label Night. Additionally, I also made hand painted t-shirts and a dress for Per’s bandmates Nappion, DJ Static, and Ayoe Angelica.
#4: V-Dag Record Release at Dome of Visions
In the spring of 2016, Per did a special release concert called V-Dag at the Dome of Visions. He asked me to create some site specific artwork to decorate the dome – a huge geodesic model habitat that was on display next to the Black Diamond on the Copenhagen harbor. Since the dome was constructed of a wooden frame with hexagonal clear panels attached to the surface, I created hexagon shaped paintings, some of which featured artwork with his lyrics and others with his logo. It was a very unique visual experience and a fascinating challenge to take on. The concert was pretty good too!
#3: Mixed Ape Music Label Night II
In 2013, Per once again called on me to create something special for the second edition of Mixed Ape label night, this time for two separate concerts. This time I collaborated with graphic designer Adam Hansel to compose a series of digital portraits that were printed on canvas and included in the official record release lookbook. Additionally, I also had the chance to paint live on stage during the concert! It was a time crunch and a major test of my skills, especially creating artwork on stage.
#2: Artwork Orange
Coming at #2 on the countdown is Artwork Orange. This is undoubtedly the biggest project that I’ve done with Per over the years, and its on going. In two years we’ve collected 10s of thousands of kroner for charitible causes in partnership with Roskilde Festival. The cliff notes are as such: I designed clothing inspired by the artists who performed on Orange Stage at Roskilde Festival, and Per wore them on stage when he introduced each act. The clothes were then auctioned off after the festival and the funds were donated to charity. You can read all the details about the project here.
The promotional video from 2015 gives a pretty cool picture of what we did as well:
And here are a few images of the actual artwork and clothing produced from the project:
See full Artwork Orange project here.
And now for the number 1 Per Vers x Brandon Lewis collaboration of all time…
# 1: DUM Limited Edition LP Cover for Record Store Day
In my mind, this is my all time favorite collaboration with Per Vers. In terms of creativity and problem solving, this presented the most interesting challenge, and my favorite finished product. Per asked me to paint artwork on a limited edition of 100 LP covers for his special release event on Record Store Day at Route 66 in Copenhagen.
We ended up deciding that it would be even cooler if all the covers were somehow part of a single cohesive piece of artwork. So in theory, arranging 100 record covers in 10 x 10 rows is simple. Getting them to stick to a wall that was big enough (3 x 3 meters) and to do so without damaging them required some thinking on my feet. So I found a metal wall in an abandoned factory building filled with graffiti, and used super strong neodymium magnets placed inside the record covers to hold them in place. Then I painted Per’s portrait on the record covers, and shot a timelapse video of the whole process.
Well, there you have it. The 5 collaborative projects with Per Vers described and shown here are some of the most interesting projects I’ve ever had the chance to do in my entire career, and I’m looking forward to what comes up next. And there’s always something next… so stay tuned as Per and I reveal our next collaboration coming up later this month. Until next time…