“I really believe that art does reflect the Friends we are black history month shirt in other words I will buy this times we’re in, so I don’t think it would have gone the same way if I was still running around, or on tour and doing all these things on the road,” says Brown. “I think being at home gave me a more centered focus on what direction I was headed in next.” The rugs, each handmade with a dye-cut center to emulate the shape of a CD, feature designs from iconic records, such as Lil’ Kim’s Hard Core, Sade’s Love Deluxe, and Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, attracting this active new community of fans and followers to buy some of their most formative records for their living room floors. While Brown’s practice has spanned a number of disciplines over the years—from photography and fine art to creative direction for music artists, the latter including an ongoing collaboration with the Canadian singer Daniel Caesar—today, he sees the urge to define a creative career with a single label as outmoded. “I don’t think with the way the world is going now that you need to have a title per se, it’s just about having an idea and executing it from start to finish. I think the communication of your idea just needs to be clear. So I think it’s just being an ideas person, that’s what my day-to-day is.”
For Brown, the Friends we are black history month shirt in other words I will buy this CD rugs have been a rewarding project for the renewed sense of focus it’s allowed him outside of his usual hectic travel schedule, while the enthusiastic response is the icing on the cake. “It’s been really cool to see it,” says Brown. “I think it was just happenstance, I don’t think it would have gone the same way if it was something I had deliberately set my sights on. I think being at home allowed me to get in touch with my space, and how I could utilize that in my creativity in my art.” This time to focus intensely on his immediate surroundings has also resulted in a broader series of designs for the home that Brown conceived entirely during lockdown. This mini-collection of sorts is available via the online store for his multidisciplinary creative project Curves, which began as a 2018 exhibition in Toronto and has since evolved into a digital space inspired by the legendary Paris boutique Colette. “I loved the world they made where it wasn’t just about products to sell, but instead about creating an environment,” Brown notes. For those wanting to spruce up their space with more than a collectible rug, pieces include incense sticks and holders modeled in the shape of Brown’s hands, and tote bags printed with iconic Hype Williams-directed ’90s music videos by The Notorious B.I.G. and Missy Elliott.