CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’re a Chicago sports fan, you’ve probably seen the work of the All Star Press — even if you didn’t know it.
As CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reported Saturday night, the All Star Press teamed up with our pro teams to do some pretty cool stuff — bringing together the worlds of sports and art.
“I’ve always been a really big athlete. Art and sports don’t always mix,” said Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff of the All Star Press.
But Tasseff-Elenkoff and All Star Press are doing their best to change that — with everything from Bulls hats to a series of Bears posters featuring a giant, cape-wearing bear stomping through a city and White Sox T-shirts.
They seem to make the mixture work.
“The whole point of doing it was to change that landscape – and instead of it being, you know, the same things you’d see – guys hitting a ball or just something in general like hotel art, degree – changing that and making it more relevant to culture,” Tasef-Elenkov said. When a brand trusts us to do something with their logo and colors and create something that’s completely new, that’s really the exciting aspect.”
All Star Press’ transition into the world of sports began with an association with the Bulls. They have been working together for six years now and have created 30 unique hat designs. One has the logo of a bull with smoke billowing from its nose, another gives the bull Picasso-style eyes.
“I see the hats almost every day – it’s like you’re going out. And we did the math – there are currently about a quarter of a million hats in the city,” Tasef-Elenkov said. “It’s so much fun just to see them and people enjoy them and wear them with pride.”
While Tasseff-Elenkoff does some of the work himself, he also selects local artists for projects. One such artist is Liz Flores.
“My work is very figurative and has an abstract element to it — and how do you make it so that sports fans still know what it is?” Flores said.
Flores created one of six designs for the White Sox summer t-shirt series given away to fans at select games. Her “Los White Sox” design ties in with Latino Heritage Month.
“I wanted the colors to be a little bright and fun because it’s Latino Heritage Month and I wanted it to be very festive,” she said. “The shape of the back—I wanted it to be kind of an ode to a vintage Sox jersey from the ’90s, and I think we came up with a really cool design.”
You can easily see the passion Flores had for the project. Part of that is because the White Sox mean a lot to her and her family.
“I’m a big Sox fan. My family is a big Sox fan. So I really felt the pressure. It’s like I said to myself, “I’m so excited.” And then I was like, ‘I’m really nervous about this too — wait!'” Flores said. “You know the team means a lot to so many people. I think then you just have to remember to stay true to yourself and your style and your style and like what you want to convey – and everything else just falls into place.”
This is where sport and art come together.
“Sports has a strong community. Art has a strong community. I think there’s a lot of overlap in what you’re trying to do is kind of bring people together; to see how local artists are supported by a local team. I think that’s absolutely wonderful,” Flores said. “Working with a sports team, too – it makes art more accessible to people. Maybe a gallery might be intimidating for people to come to, but a sports game might not be, right? And so they have the opportunity to collect some of your work in a different way.”
All Star Press is located at 2775 N. Milwaukee Ave.