October 22, 2015

Selective Hearing: Fly Art

Words by Mio Borromeo

Over the two years since its debut, Fly Art has built an unshakeable reputation as an Internet phenom, imposing hip-hop lyrics against some of the most recognizable works in high art. seeks counsel for the latest iteration of Selective Hearing: Fly Art, what’s good?



The Dance (1910), Henri Matisse / Hey Ya, Outkast. Posted by Fly Art on 13 April 2015.

If you haven’t seen any of the prints or t-shirts (or the celebrities who sport them), you haven’t been on the Internet long enough.

Gisella Velasco and Toni Potenciano are the makers and curators of Fly Art, a project that originated on Tumblr but has since materialized in other forms. Next week, for instance, they’ll be launching a new collaborative collection of bags with Halo+Halo called Back to Black (but we’ll get to that again at a later time).

The concept of Fly Art is winningly simple. Consider the work above: Matisse, meet André 3000, and vice versa. In the same way, a new generation comes face-to-face with centuries’ worth of high culture, and allows them to approach it with a lot more ease than most conventional methods will afford. As Velasco told last year: “If we can help some people understand the painting a little bit better, then that’s good for us. And people think it’s funny. That’s why we really like to do it. Because art can be taken so seriously. There’s this stereotype of the art world being so highbrow and inaccessible, but the rap lyrics bring it down to earth, and we try to make it a little more humorous.”

We chimed in on the ladies of Fly Art, wanting to know a little more about their collaboration with Halo+Halo (again, more on that at a later time). In lieu of a preliminary profile, came out of the conversation with a brand new playlist, stringed together by Velasco and Potenciano. It’s worth pointing out that some of the tracks on this list will be featured in the new collection—expect to see a lot of Yeezy. Most notably however, their last pick on the mix is an offering from another local Internet darling, the up-and-coming Curtismith, who will be performing at the Back to Black launch together with BIN5 and CRWN.

The Halo+Halo x Fly Art: Back to Black collection will launch on October 30, 2015 at Finders Keepers, La Fuerza Plaza, Makati.

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