|Exposition. Where is Silas?|
'Where is Silas', the new book published by Laurence King, is a collection of art, design, illustration,
creative writing and photography curated by Silas and Maria. It features exclusive pieces by the people who have been working with and for the label since its beginnings in 1998 - influenced by their namesake and mentor, legendary maverick Silas Holmes. The book seeks not only to answer the question of its title, 'Where is Silas?', but also to carry the spirit of what he stood for and what he means to those who knew him, celebrating the life and loves of this illusive character.
Silas and Maria
Silas and Maria began its life as a small mens and womenswear label in 1998, and has since grown into an internationally distributed brand balancing commercial success with critical acclaim. Since its inception, Silas has
collaborated with artists and designers, both in terms of creating their collection and through a range of special projects manifested in the form of catalogues, stickers, brochures, an interactive website and dolls.
"Having met Russell and Sofia (silas owners) at Slam City Skates years and years ago I started doing graphics for 'Holmes' they're previous brand and precursor to Silas. When they left Slam City to start Silas I continued working with them more and more - doing art direction and design producing: Tee's, prints, patterns, catalogues, websites, printed literature etc. etc. for them and am obviously working heavily with them. I had always wanted to do a book project for them and we had discussed the possibility of doing it before a few years back. I wanted to do something that pulled together all the Silas contributors and gave us all an opportunity to create something beautiful that also had a reason for its existence (ie. A story not just a collection of images) we decided that the
best idea was to chart the history and life of Silas Holmes."
Born sometime in the Forties to a beautiful midwestern prostitute, grew up on the road. As a young adult he consorted with the luminaries of the San Francisco City Lights scene and the beatniks of Greenwich Village, gave poetry readings with Allen Ginsberg and played clarinet with John Coltrane. At weekends on Ken Kesey's ranch, Holmes became friendly with the San Bernadino Hells Angels, and some of their shadier friends.
Drifting into organised crime and political activism, Silas again travelled across the continent to New York. Always illusive, he is rumoured to have been involved with the Weathermen, the Yippies and the Black Panthers, but leaves no evidence of his involvement. Even his rumoured role as a minor player in Andy Warhol's much filmed and photographed Factory appears to be undocumented.
Travelling to Europe, Silas continued to paint, write, create and inspire all those whose paths he crossed. In 1994, he came to London to start work on the creation of a fashion label in collaboration with Slam City Skates'
Sophia Prantera and Russell Waterman. Carrying his surname, 'Holmes' became a cult success but in 1998, around the time Silas vanished, Prantera and Waterman chose to leave Slam and set up their own company. Through this new company they produced the fashion label Silas, using the first name of their friend and mentor, hoping he would soon return and continue working with them. Silas has not returned but Silas, the label has flourished. It has built up a solid reputation and achieved cult status.
'Where is Silas?' is an artbook with contributions by the creative people behind the label Silas and Maria. Please do not mistake this for a fashion catalogue which it is not. You will get an exceptional piece of printed matter (acutally it's two) with the styles and visuals that Silas and Maria has been so highly acclaimed for.
Art Direction and Design: Ben Sansbury
Edited by: Sofia Prantera, Ben Sansbury and Russell Waterman
1x 192 pages clothbound - CMYK w/ special colours
1x 46 pages perfectbound - B&W
1x Clothbound case w/ CMYK belly band
published in October 2003 by Laurence King (ISBN 1856693708)
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