NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- One day in the middle of Mexico, a former New York branding expert and lifelong doodler, picked up a brush and a can of black house paint and for the first time in her life, started to paint floor to ceiling. This "Black Line Crazy" art turned Mary van de Wiel's life upside down. The result was her first Black Line Crazy collection of design objects to celebrate the power of line and spontaneous mark-making. It features functional, wearable unisex totes, messenger bags, zippered portfolios and a Wool Collection designed to be carried, worn or thrown over the shoulder.
"Art has a pulse just like we do. It belongs in everyday life, not just on walls," says van de Wiel. "What's more, life is more fun when you walk outside the line."
Last month, a public installation of her work was unveiled at 1285 Avenue of the Americas in New York City to coincide with the launch of her online store. Commissioned by New York agency And Partners, the work, What Were You Thinking, makes for high-drama mileage in a dynamic immersive black line environment. It's featured in five massive 4x5ft glass vitrine windows in the corporate bank lobby on West 51st Street and van de Wiel went beyond the brief. She also designed playful black vinyl graphics to spill across each window's side panels. (Bank hours for viewing: Weekdays 9-5:30 pm.)
"We see opportunities with artists like Mary van de Wiel to make original works at 1285 Avenue of the Americas as a great example of the intersection of contemporary art and commerce," said David Schimmel, founder and CEO of And Partners.
A Dutch sea captain's daughter, a New Yorker for 24 years and former chief creative officer of her own branding agency with offices in New York and Sydney, she relished walking outside the line even with her Fortune 500 clients.
Always mesmerized by those lanky courier dudes who weaved in and out of Sixth Avenue traffic with vinyl messengers strapped across their back, vinyl messenger bags were top priority when she headed for Leon, the leather capital of Mexico. Eighteen months later, she's transformed her lifelong doodling obsession into a second act with the launch of Black Line Crazy.