Street Luxury: Keith Márton Interview 

This is new segment I call “Street Luxury”. Where I interview a person who is making a name for themselves through sneakers, streetwear, art, or of course food or just all around culture related that’s just fucking dope! 

I had a chance to catch up with Keith Márton an up and coming artist from LeBron’s home town of Akron, who is making basketball’s into extreme high end art pieces! 

You may have seen his work in the homes of Dj Khaled, Rick Ross and even LeBron James. Keith takes basketballs and also skateboards and refinishes them in reptile or ostrich skin. 

The first time his work caught my eye was on Dj Khaled’s snapchat

 and after I was hooked. So I got in touch with him and here’s the interview.

What inspired you to make these exotic pieces? 

I’ve always had a desire to make connections in all kind of ways whether it be business, people, art etc. My love for sports as well as fashion and art was what I believe caused me to think up this crazy idea of a snakeskin basketball. It’s something I thought up 3-4 years ago and took me almost a year to figure out exactly how I was going to construct it and how to perfect the look exactly how I envisioned it when I first thought up the idea. 

Are you a big basketball fan? 

Yes I definitely enjoy basketball but I’m a bigger Lebron fan than anything. I grew up in Akron watching Lebron since he was a freshman in high school. That’s my GUY!

What would you say was your break out moment? 

I think my breakout moment besides gifting Lebron his basketball, and him loving it, was when I was invited to several galleries for Art Basel Miami 2016. I would finally have my work in front of the right eyeballs and would get to see the responses from high end art collectors and buyers. The response was tremendous. I sold several pieces at astronomical prices and from there I knew I was onto something but more than that I was extremely happy I would be able to continue to make more pieces because I am always brewing up new ideas for new art.

How does your art impact pop culture today? 

I never want to be the one to say how my work impacts culture, I’ll leave that up to the people of my culture to decide that but I want my work to make people feel a certain way and catch a “vibe” if you will. The same people who enjoy the same things that influenced my work; art, fashion, sports. I feel these three are more intertwined today than ever before. 

You recently had a lot of exhibits at art Basel this year what were some of your greatest moments from that? 

1) Displaying my work alongside my brother Himmsey who is also an artist was special for me. My other brother was a part of one of the events we did also. He is a DJ. His name is ARKiTEKT. That was great, the three of us doing what we love most all under the same roof.

2) Another one of the greatest moments believe it or not was me running around Miami setting up for the galleries and parties I was invited to display my work in. It was stressful and lots of work but it was something I’ve wanted ever since I started making art. The fun is in the hustle for me.
3) When I got word someone wanted to buy three of my skateboards and ended up purchasing them… that definitely ranks at the top.
4) I did a collaboration piece with Miami based artist Mister E…he put on an amazing art basel show/gallery called Gold Basel. I was very proud to have been a part of such a creative space he put together. 
Where do you think art in pop culture is going?

Art in pop culture is always evolving and changing as new artists emerge. I definitely see street art as a huge influencer in pop culture. From music album covers to luxury fashion brands and even traditional corporate companies are becoming open to using street art in their marketing and product design. For instance Gucci just gave New York graffiti artist Trevor Andrew aka “GucciGhost” a deal and he tagged the whole 5th Ave Flagship store and gave him a clothing and accessories line as well. Street art is definitely on the come up.
Who are your favorite artists of this era? 

Daniel Arsham, Himmsey, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst are a few of my favorites. Each of them create work that is so different and have never done before. 

Now this is Sneaks-N-Eatz it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t ask some questions about sneakers and food. So…
Do you ever think of incorporating sneakers into your work? 

Yes, I have something brewing that’s going to be crazy. Hint: Jumpman 

What are your favorite pair of sneakers? 

I don’t have a favorite pair but any comfortable Nike runners is what I go for…besides that my early 90’s Apple Computer sneakers that I own. They are the only unworn pair known to exist in the world.

What is your favorite food to eat while you work? 

That’s tough I like all kinds of food….I would say some kind of melt sandwich.
What is your favorite restaurant? 

Ken Stewarts Grille in Akron, OH

Where do you go to get your sneakers? 
UNKNWN Miami (Aventura Mall)
If you could do a collab for a restaurant on one of your pieces what restaurant would it be and what would you do? 

Komodo in Miami. I would create custom skate decks for the new Komodo Lounge that just opened. They have perfect bare walls that skateboards would fit perfectly on. I would create them using genuine Komodo skin keeping with the darker red look of the restaurant and have their logo on top of the skin… Holler at me Grutman!

You definitely have to look out for Keith! Check out his Instagram page @keith_marton or his website Keith-Márton.com 

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