Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stance
DESIGNED BY B.THOM STEVENSON
STANCE ONCE AGAIN TEAMS UP WITH VISUAL ARTIST, PUNK AND POET, B.THOM STEVENSON ON OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. THE COLLECTION IS KNIT ON 3 STYLES OF CASUAL CREW ALL GENDER SOCKS IMAGINED THROUGH THE ARTISTS' CHILDHOOD NOSTALGIA AND CURRENT ARTISTIC MODERN SENSIBILITIES. THE COLLECTION IS ALSO A PASSION PROJECT FOR B.THOM’S AS HE’S RELIVING THE ENTIRE CARTOON SERIES ONCE AGAIN WITH HIS YOUNG SON AND DAUGHTER WHO IS A SUPER FAN OF THE MUTANT FOURSOME.
IT’S BEEN ABOUT A YEAR SINCE WE COLLABORATED WITH YOU ON THE CROCS PARTNERSHIP. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO SINCE THEN?
Over the past year, since our collaboration on the Crocs partnership, I've been deeply immersed in my artistic practice, producing a series of paintings, participating in several exhibitions and have been engaged in a plethora of design projects. In addition to my personal art endeavors, I've been actively curating shows at Paradise Gallery, a space I manage in my hometown.
YOU’VE WORKED ON MANY PARTNERSHIPS WITH STANCE THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO WORK WITH STANCE ON THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES PARTNERSHIP?
Stance always gives me the creative freedom to bring my ideas to life. I really enjoy the abstract challenge of reinterpreting something that is present in my daily life. Last time it was Crocs (i wear them everyday) and this time it was TMNT. My kids play with the same turtle toys and watch the same turtle shows and movies I grew up with.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS WHEN CREATING THE COLLECTION?
When I approached the TMNT-Stance collection, I revisited the visceral feelings and memories associated with the Turtles from my childhood. Drawing on my "cannibalistic" style of imagery evolution and mutation, I wanted to represent the Turtles in a way that captured both nostalgia and modern sensibilities. I started with base images, mutating and iterating them, seeking that balance between the raw, original TMNT aesthetics and a different take than what i had seen before.
WHICH CHARACTER FROM THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?
Donatello was always my favorite turtle. But, beyond the Turtles, I've always been drawn to the bad guys. Scum Bug, Mutagen Man, and Baxter Stockman mostly for their incredibly detailed action figures. Their action figures, with all their minutiae, became crucial touchstones in my early explorations of detail and texture in art.
GROWING UP WITH THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES CARTOONS, WHAT WERE SOME THINGS YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THE CARTOON SERIES, AND WHAT YOU LOVED ABOUT IT?
The MUTAGEN! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series uses mutation as a lens to explore themes of identity, societal implications of scientific progression, and the duality of change. Characters' transformations serve as allegories for internal conflicts and the challenges of navigating a world in which they don't fully belong. In retrospect TMNT dove deep into the complexities of adaptation, evolution, and the multifaceted nature of existence.
WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON THIS YEAR? WHAT IS AHEAD FOR B THOM STEVENSON THE REMAINDER OF 2023 AND HEADING INTO 2024?
I have a few shows coming up, NYC, LA, Greece and Tokyo…follow along at @bthomstevenson