Joe Conzo, Ernie Paniccioli, Henry Chalfant, Charlie Ahearn, Jamel Shabazz (kneeling), Photograph by Koe Rodriguez

Cotton is more than the fabric of our lives, it is a screen, a place upon which we project our wishes, hopes, and dreams. It has become one of the most democratic mediums in the world, tearing the picture off the wall and breaking through the frame, then transposing it on to a t-shirt and inviting anyone to engage. No longer do photographs live in the rarified world of museums and galleries, prints and books. The photograph now lives on the shirtfront.

And when it is positioned here, it changes our relationship to the image. At once it becomes a symbol of the self, a projection out into the world. It is that which we choose and identify with, a way to communicate non-verbally to tell a story or myth. And in wearing art, we do more than simply advertise its existence; by wearing art we become one with it, in a way that paper can never make possible.

DRKRM is the brainchild of Dan Sears and James “Koe” Rodriguez, which has just launched its line of high quality apparel online. Rodriguez observes, “I’ve always viewed clothing and accessories as a perfect medium for self expression and art. I believe a great T-shirt has the same impact that a great painting has. Because clothing is a part of our everyday lives, it is a great vehicle for exposure and conversation. It’s also a practical and functional way to be creative, not to mention profitable, too.”

DRKRM focuses on the work of artists whose work has defined the world in which we live, photographers including Martha Cooper, Joe Conzo, and Jamel Shabazz. This triumvirate of talent has created some of the most definitive images of our time, providing us with a look at street style and culture as it was being created by those who lived it, and not by the marketing directors who cash in on the latest fads and trends…

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