• Olisa Tasie-Amadi

Something Special Studios: An Open Doorway Into The Digital Archives Of Famed Museums

Gazing deeply into the hypnotizingly surreal painting by Salvador Dali, Crucifixion; nurturing an unlikely bond with the devotional and scientific ambiance the painting issues; analyzing the dark shadows, the heavenly gold tones, the partial hyperrealism in the detail on Christ’s body, and the checkered floor beneath him, is my last memory of being at The MET before the pandemic struck. For many of us like myself, art brings us peace and offers an escape from reality.

Though that feeling that intimate and special moment sparked between human and art cannot be replicated, New-York based creative studio, Something Special Studios, is offering art connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike an open doorway into the digital archives of some of the most notable museums around the world as part of their initiative, Free Admission. The studio explains, “Now more than ever, the virtual collections made available by these institutions are invaluable, and to highlight and celebrate these resources, we're launching “Free Admission,” a digital day at the museum with some of our favorite creatives.”

First, on the list of gifted artists and creatives Something Special Studios connected with is LA-based curator, Antoine J. Girard. For Antoine, who tagged his selection as The Black Quotidian, his selection of artworks from the MOMA highlighted pieces that he felt “speak directly to his community, the black working class, and to the hustle,” adding that his curation is presented with the aim of “elevating the familiar.” Antoine – recognized as a leading force in social change within art, and an Emerging Leader of Color by the Western Arts Foundation – is an art professional and cultural strategist whose work has empowered black visual culture, and for years, helped the art and museum world become more inclusive.

Another talented creative collaborating with Something Special Studios, which happens to be one of my most loved directors, is London-based filmmaker Bafic. His intimately-charged and explorative work centers on human connections with society and the digital world, especially the continuous change in the way 21st-century technology crafts new forms of communication and expression. At first glance of some of Bafic’s work, people might view it as seemingly odd or very heavy on the stalker vibe, which is aesthetically evident in many of his video projects like Vilgarre. On the other hand, his work is elegant, often flashy and fast, sometimes involving unorthodox camera angles and movements, which can be seen in his collaborations with notable brands such as Louis Vuitton, A-Cold-Wall, Nike, and even Gucci. For Free Admission, he didn’t say much about his curation but rather simply referred to them as gems.

And for Something Special Studios, founded in 2016, their work within the creative industry has continued to push boundaries and redefine what it means to be a creative studio. Speaking on their collaborative book, Summer of Something Special, which included distinctive photographic works captured by 13 photographers – Renell Medrano, Julian Klincewicz, Nick Sethi, Jim Mangan, Amanda Fordyce, Thibaut Grevet, Rebekah Campbell, Bella Newman, Beth Garrabrant, Jamil Baldwin, Machine Operated, Adam Zhu and Jules Muir – released in 2019; the studio has shown the value in connecting the creative community as one and the beauty that comes as a result. This year, back again with Free Admission, they are doing just that, and I think it's safe to say everyone is loving it.

To follow along with Something Special Studio's Free Admission, follow their Instagram here. To find out more about Something Special Studios, visit their site here.

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