Daniel Nelson

Bulletproof Vest

Class of: 2024

Major: Design and Technology BFA

Medium: Cardboard, Chipboard, spray paint, nuts and bolts

Faculty: Aviva Shulem

Prompt: To develop a 3D object/artifact, which demonstrates its connection to the community you identify with or defines you, your belief, your personality, etc. The item can be a sculpture, a functional object/tool, a body “extension” (accessory, garment, prosthesis, etc.). The object can demonstrate or express feelings of connecting to a particular community (by choice). Students will explore how & why they feel connected. Considering how you can use color, shape, form, texture, scale to represent these feelings visually. This object can be inspired by project #1 (Personal exoskeleton-shell).

For this project, I made a silhouette of a bulletproof vest with an NYC park logo and a lion’s head connected. I used my immediate community of Bedford Stuyvesant because I was born and raised there. The use of the lion head would allude to the Jamaican community within Bedford Stuyvesant seeing that rastas would use lions that symbolized kingship, African solidarity, and strength. As for the NYC park logo, because growing up in Brooklyn, I learned a lot about the parks. Seeing that the parks always taught me a lot whether it was good or bad and contributed to my growth as an individual. Not only that, but it also informed me a lot about my own position in society as an artist and an observer. Especially coming from a disenfranchised community that dealt with problems such as poverty, drugs, violence and the list can go on. The use of the bulletproof vest parallels the problems and safety precautions I had to take and pick up on to simply live. By doing research on what communities were in general, I provided myself a stable foundation to look into the history of Bedford Stuyvesant and apply the views of my community within the creative process.