Celebrating sneaker culture: Graphic design student’s work is featured at Detroit exhibit

The work of graphic design senior Matt Brodsky is part of a monthlong exhibit in Detroit celebrating sneaker culture.

Brodsky has three digital portraits on display at the Sneaker House art installation, which celebrates and highlights sneaker culture through visually dynamic displays and artwork. The exhibit is part of Design Core Detroit and sponsored by Foot Locker.

Soles series of portraits by Newhouse student Matt Brodsky
Brodsky’s featured portraits, part of his “Soles” series, are “LeBron,” “Carmelo” and “Serena.” He created “Serena” as a high school student.

Brodsky’s portraits, part of the design series, “Soles,” are collages made from pieces of sneakers. He says he first found creative inspiration while growing up in Chicago, where Michael Jordan and the Bulls meant sneaker culture was strong. He started making sneaker art in high school, eventually creating an independent study making sneaker portraits and creating art on commission for family and friends.

At the Newhouse School, he has continued to develop his work with support from professors like Adam Peruta, Renée Stevens and Ken Harper.

“Matt’s artwork is compelling and unique. What I’m most excited about is watching him push the boundaries and take his work to emerging platforms—I’m thrilled to see it extend to augmented reality and NFTs,” Peruta says. “Matt is taking advantage of all that Newhouse offers to help turn his vision into a reality.”

Matt Brodsky at exhibit
Brodsky at the opening of the Sneaker House art installation in Detroit earlier this month

He is currently working on a project called “Soleless,” which allows people to buy trading cards featuring his art and potentially win a pair of sneakers. The cards are sold at J Michael Shoes and Shirt World on Marshall Street.

“Syracuse University has allowed me to explore so many routes for how to market and enhance my artwork,” he says. “I’m extremely thankful for the opportunities and motivation to see where my artistic skills can take me.”

Visit Brodsky’s portfolio site to view more of his work, or follow him on Instagram at @mattbrodesign.