They look like dartboards, roller skate wheels, or maybe hubcaps from a future in which everything glows and blinks. In reality, these colorful discs are just Nike sneakers being spun on a pottery wheel, which are then photographed through long exposures to create a hyperreal, concentric blur.
“My brother is a sneaker collector. I wear sneakers all the time, but I’m not a collector. I don’t get why anyone would buy the same shoes in 10 different colors,” artist Joost van Brug tells Co.Design. “That’s why I wanted to explore how much color is a factor when it comes to sneaker collecting, but in an abstract way.”
Indeed, with shoe forms, stitchings, soles, and patterning removed from the equation, van Brug simplifies some of Nike’s boldest fashion statements–which fetch thousands of dollars in resale–into illuminating color wheels. For instance, the Air Yeezy 2 (NRG Black Solar Red), looks like a vinyl record with a HAL-like glowing core, while the Nike SB Jade resembles a monochromatic, chlorine-filled jacuzzi. The color alone is extremely evocative, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself lusting for these shoes before you even see the full products.
So can you actually learn anything about Nike design from this abstract view? One trend you’ll note is that the center of each ring–which corresponds with the inside of the shoe–is often a bright red or pink. Why? Evidently Nike uses this spot to hide an aggressive accent, kind of like the trademark red flash of a Louboutin (but a whole lot stinkier).