Marcel Duchamp once said, “I am still a victim of chess. It has all the beauty of art — and much more. It cannot be commercialized. Chess is much purer than art in its social position.” Though one can disagree as to see how widely successful The Queen’s Gambit brought to an example of the ultimate in commercial successes, a surge of 273% on searching platforms within 10 days of the shows release can totally attest to the fact that chess has had a comeback as the it girl of gaming… Take that backgammon. Now that we are all up for a game that meets up with the stylized demands of our inside lives and the proposition to preserve our brains from the streaming wasteland, Amor Services have come to deliver, with their latest project CHESS, MON AMOR.

Abandoning the black and white traditions the board, this remix is envisioned in red and blue as a direct reference to current sociopolitical unrest and also raises the emotional stakes. Chess pieces by Alake Shilling (king), Tremaine Emory (queen), Bernhard Willhelm (bishop), Yves Tumor (knight) , Gaetano Pesce (rook) , Ser Serpas (pawn), Mandy Harris Williams (didactics) round out an ecclectic and brilliant crew of creatives. See more below.

King

Alake Shilling (b. 1993, Los Angeles, CA) is the creator of all things deep and magical – she is a painter and sculptor of creatures, in a gelatinous rainbow style in debt to Lisa Frank as much as Peter Saul, bearing carefully coded emotions and driving rich narratives about companionship, risk and reward. Shilling has exhibited at countless galleries and fairs worldwide and has an upcoming traveling exhibition with Jeffrey Deitch. For Chess, Mon Amor, Shilling has scaled one of her sought-after, infamous ladybug ceramics to the pocket-size of the King.

L’King, 2021, Glazed Ceramic, 3 ½ x 2 x 2 inches each

Queen

Tremaine Emory a.k.a Denim Tears (b. 1979, Atlanta, GA) has been releasing products featuring the iconography of Mother Mary since 2014. Regarding his designs he has said “I’m recontextualizing the black image across as many mediums as possible to get this story told…” Emory – a.k.a Denim Tears – is a creative luminary & legend in fashion, music, and culture producing radio shows, podcasts, and envisioning crossovers between contemporary art and creative outlets, Emory works as a leader of the cultural provocateur. Here, Emory has adapted his Mother Mary design as the Queen of the chess set.

L’ Queen, 2021, Casted resin and printed glass 4 ½ x 2 x 1 ½ inches each

Bishop

Trailblazer to all things tableau vivant and avant garde in modern day fashion, Bernhard Willhelm (b. 1972, Ulm, DE) is the entrusted Simon Cowell of fashion, the litmus test of significance, a light on the road ahead, the godfather of anything worthwhile in fashion today, in Chess, Mon Amor, he is our anointed bishop. Willhelm designed the Bishop based off of his classic pumpkin-head model made in collaboration with artist Geoffrey Lillemon, that has been used on some of his most sought-after garments.

L’ Bishop, 2021, Glazed thermoplastic polyurethane 4 x 1 ½ x 1 ¼ inches each

Knight

While all futures are unknown, we do know that 21st century experimental music would look a lot differently without musician and artist Yves Tumor (b. 1989, Knoxville, TN) Genre-bending Tumor is among the most interesting artists working today; with each new record, embodying a genre—its history, its texture, its tropes. Signed by Warped Records and written about countless times in publications like the NY Times, Pitchfork, the Guardian, Paper Mag and countless more. For Chess, Mon Amor, Tumor becomes embodied as the Knight itself, marking his first move into the fine art world.

L’Knight, 2021, Clay and human hair 4 x 1 ½ x 1 ¼ inches each

Rook

Guided by a constant drive towards innovation and experimentation, Gaetano Pesce (b. 1939, La Spezia, IT), architect, artist and designer, has created public and private projects in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia, in the fields of architecture, town planning, interior design, and industrial and exhibition design. In Pesce’s production, the borders between art, design and industry become irrelevant because art is also a product, it is the creative reply to the needs of the times we are living in.

Needless to say, Pesce one of the most iconic designers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Pioneer of all things important in design, Pesce has created a classic interpretation of the Rook, imbued with the radical energy of an innovative career spanning over five decades.

L’Rooks, 2021, Casted resin, 6 x 2 ½ x 1 ¼ inches each

Pawns

The pawn is represented by artist Ser Serpas (b. 1995, Los Angeles, CA). Primarily interested in death and legacy, her work is preoccupied with its own urgency in the face of fossilization. Precarious assemblages of disparate objects found in the street constitute her most well known series to date. Serpas has translated that practice into the form of the Pawn, which are archived parts of a discarded dollhouse left on the curb outside of AMOR’s office.

Serpas has had solo shows at the LUMA Foundation in Zurich and Ludlow 38 in New York. She took part in the 2020 Made in LA biennial at the Hammer Museum and the Huntington. She was featured in shows at the Pinault Collection, Punta Della Dogana, Venice and the Swiss Institute, New York.

L’ Pawn, 2021, Epoxy resin and found objects, 1 ½ x 1 ½ inches each

Board

The sides and compartments of the board are engraved with a commissioned text by artist and cultural theorist Mandy Harris Williams – aka idealblackfemale (b. 1988, New York, NY). Williams, having coined the popular term #brownupyourfeed and recently named as one of Cultured Magazines “Young Artists 2021,” stands as one of the most important voices in our contemporary moment. For Chess, Mon Amor, Williams created the poetic didactics for the board itself, exploring timeless concepts such a love, power and beauty.

L’Didactics, 2021, Engraved text on stainless steal

For Inquiries contact office@amorservices.com

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