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Basketball Backboards Given an Elegant Upgrade with Stained Glass and Jewels

Historically, stained glass was reserved for opulent lamps, church windows, and regal architecture, but artist Victor Solomon has taken this time-honored craft in a totally unexpected direction. His Literally Balling project combines the ornate art with the sport of basketball. Elegant backboards are composed in beautiful designs, meticulously cut and soldered in the traditional Tiffany Style. Their hoops are strung in crystals, shimmering as they dangle from gold rims.

While Solomon's playful pieces juxtapose two facets of culture, they also symbolize contemporary attitudes towards the sport: fans so fascinated by basketball that they have a religious devotion to it, as well as athletes as modern-day “kings” of the court. Aside from basketball, Solomon's elegant works also comment on the fragility of luxury–you can look at these pieces, but you can't actually use them as intended. A free throw could shatter the stained glass designs and rip the jeweled nets, destroying the artist's fragile handiwork. Ultimately, it's an aesthetic and thought-provoking collection.

Literally Balling: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Victor Solomon.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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