This blog post has been a long time in the making. Last November I was commissioned to make a replica of the 1971 Chris Burden ski mask. Chris Burden was an American Performance artist who did a load of crazy stuff like nailing himself to a VW beetle and shooting himself, all in the name of Art…
For one of his tamer performances he wore a yellow ski mask for 3 days in Kansas City – aptly titled ‘You’ll Never See My Face in Kansas City’. Fast forward to present day, I was contacted by Sly Spectrum from Brooklyn who needed a replica of the mask for a video they were making with the same title.
Working only from a picture of the original mask, I set out to recreate the pattern and produce a mask worthy of my first Music Video World Premiere.
As usual, the first draft needed some slight adjustments (see below). The second version turned out perfectly (scary).
The project had a short window and I needed to figure out the pattern and knit two masks in just a couple of weeks. In typical fashion, I was knitting the last few stitches on the subway ride to the drop-off location. I miscalculated by about 5 minutes and I was actually knitting the last few stitches as I walked down the street to the meeting point. Lucky for me they were running late, and I even had time to tie up all the loose ends (literally). I was getting strange looks from passersby who were understandably worried that I might be knitting my way to the most stylish bank robbery of all time.
A couple of months later, I was contacted by the song writer himself, asking if I could do a larger order. Turns out they wanted to sell commemorative 45s along with a replica ski mask (available here). This deluxe edition features both ‘The Malefactors of Great Wealth’ and ‘The Black Swans’ singing ‘You’ll Never See My Face in Kansas City’ along with my hand-knitted awesome ski mask (not recommended for actual stickups).
If you prefer to make your own, check back on the products page as it should be released soon (this fall?).
While you’re knitting, check out the full video below for the ‘Malefactors of Great Wealth’ version of the song:
… and the ‘The Black Swans’ version here: