In 1987, less than a year out of college, I met and was hired by legendary fashion designer and artist Stephen Sprouse, working as his full-time assistant until 1990 when his company, like many others, fell victim to the recession. I continued to work with him on various projects, to varying degrees, until his untimely death from lung cancer in 2004. He was much more than an employer to me. He was a mentor, an older brother and most of all, a trusted friend. I created this video for his Memorial in a matter of days from a suitcase full of old VHS tapes. The image quality might leave something to be desired, nevertheless, I believe it successfully captures Stephen’s unique spirit. I miss him every day.
In 2009 I had the privilege of curating and designing a retrospective exhibit of Stephen Sprouse's career featuring his clothing, sketches and paintings entitled "Rock on Mars" at Deitch Projects, a 6000 square foot gallery on Wooster Street in SoHo (a few blocks away from where the legendary Stephen Sprouse Store once stood.). The show was held in conjunction with the release of a Stephen Sprouse inspired line of clothing and accessories designed by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton. The exhibit was such a success that I was again, honored to be invited by Louis Vuitton to recreate the show for an exhibit entitled Louis Vuitton: Passion for Creation held at the Hong Kong Museum of Art .Below are photos of the installations.
In 2003, Stephen was invited to design an installation for The Fourth Sex, a group exhibit produced by Fondazione Pitti Imagine Discovery at the Stazione Leopolda di Firenze gallery in Florence, curated by Francesco Bonami and Raf Simons. Although Stephen wanted to go himself, he didn't think his schedule would allow it. We spoke daily during the installation, and it was obvious to me that he wished he could be there. "You should come," I said. "The installation looks great and the show as a whole is amazing." I didn;t know it at the time, but he had just been diagnosed with cancer and given a rather grim prognosis. This was the last major project I worked on for Stephen while he was living.