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Freeway Eyewear

Multimedia artist Alex Israel’s colorful works owe a debt to his sunny Los Angeles upbringing. Israel graduated from Harvard-Westlake before receiving his BA from Yale and then landing internships with legendary conceptual artist John Baldessari and The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Professional stints at galleries Blum & Poe and Hauser & Wirth and at Sotheby’s in New York helped mold his perception of the art world before he received his MFA from USC. As an artist, his quick rise to success began in 2012, when he debuted his video work As It Lays, a series of interviews with L.A. celebrities as varied as Oliver Stone, Rachel Zoe, Perez Hilton and Jamie Lee Curtis. Paintings and colorful abstracts on fiberglass are prominent in his oeuvre, but the contemporary artist also works outside the bounds of what can be found in a museum. His recent collaborations with Louis Vuitton have produced handbags and fragrances, but the most SoCal-inspired work to date from the artist — who seldom appears without his trademark shades — might be his brand of sunglasses, which he designs under the label Freeway. Models are given names like 1, 10 and 405, after the state’s most iconic routes, and shapes vary from retro aviators to modern squares. 



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