Victor Solomon has combined his love for art with his passion for the game of basketball with an epic collaboration — VS x NBA! He’s created ‘Crystal Prints’ to represent all 30 teams in the league and he told us all about it!
Victor Solomon‘s Literally Balling brand is booming. Solomon, a Boston-born artist and filmmaker, creates detailed stain glass pieces of art in color and geometric patterns. His work has garnered attention and praise (which he still can’t believe) from eyes all around the world. — Art Basel Miami, galleries, you name it. Now, he’s caught the attention of basketball’s biggest stage, the NBA!
Solomon has officially partnered with the National Basketball Association to create VS x NBA — combining his love for art with his passion for the game. He collaborated with the NBA to create “Crystal Prints,” of the league’s 30 teams, rendered in hand-pressed gold foil stamp and suspended in a glass floating frame. The “Crystal Prints” will be released in a one-time, hand-numbered, limited edition of 1,000 pieces per team.
“I really haven’t pushed the project in any direction, I just keep following where it takes me,” Solomon, says. “For the first time, I showed the work at Art Basel in Miami in 2015, so it’s barely been three years and I’m already doing a collaboration with the NBA, which is absolutely crazy to me.” Solomon then tells the story of how he started out. “I was living in San Francisco at the time and I found this stained glass studio and these glass masters that have been doing this their whole lives.” He began creating art work as more of passion projects. “And, all this time, there’s been no intention to sell them, or make a practice out of it or make it into a big project that its turned into,” he says, adding that it was “curiosity of the process and the love of them game,” that fueled him. “I feel like I tapped into a conversation people wanted to have.”
Solomon explains how there’s so much more to his collaboration with the NBA. “The discipline required to make these pieces, in a way, has a parallel to what these athletes do. — A player sits in the gym and works on his shot… he puts up say, a 1000 shots to make sure he gets it right. For me, to be focusing on the same rigidity and putting these works together is sort of what pairs so perfect with that part of the story,” he explains. “The way players and fans have been reacting to these pieces is really powerful.”
“It’s a really exciting moment particularly for how polarizing the country is right now to be able to take a sport to go back to the idea that the confines of a basketball court, everyone’s the same. I think that basketball is an amazing platform for that conversation and the league is so diverse and unique with a lot of different backgrounds. And, the league has been so open to letting its players speaks their minds. It’s a really amazing moment to be associated with the league. I think every week I’m more proud to be associated with them, just based on some of the initiatives they’re getting behind.”
Not only has the league tapped him for a collaboration, but individual star players have too. Solomon has created artwork for the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant. He’s created stain glass backboards for the NBA’s elite. Solomon creates the pieces using the historical “Tiffany Style” of the Art Nouveau movement. He is mostly known for his high-end $30k hand-crafted, 24K-gold plated standed-glass basketball hoops and decorative basketballs, as well as nets made out of diamonds. Solomon’s also created art for Hip–hop producer Swiss Beatz and rapper Rick Ross.
Another highlight of Solomon’s career is when his homegrown Celtics enlisted him to create a one-of-a-kind backboard with a diamond net for the retirement ceremony Paul Pierce. “It’s cool. The Pierce project was really special, that just happened recently,” Solomon says, before reminiscing on the special opportunity. “As a Boston boy, to be able to work with the Celtics and be part of that special moment. — We did a custom commission to celebrate Paul’s jersey retirement at the end of last season. That was such a crazy moment because it was like that was the guy who brought the city a championship that we’ve been missing for so long.”