His show that's currently up at SAM, Into Existence, takes its title literally, an artistic manifestation of things to come: spending more time with his nephew, working on art with his father, the freedom of his childhood friend Debo who is currently wrongly imprisoned. Blending structural qualities of American history painting with religious iconography, "Amerocco," pictured above, is an ode to Fowler's shoe store dream and friendship.
Fowler and Yannis wanted to fuse together the traditional shoes from both of their respective cultures: Fowler thought Nike Air Force 1s best represented his hometown of St. Louis while Yannis chose the babouche, a leather pointy-toed slip-on from his country of origin, Morocco. The result was a sort of Babouche Force 1 that retained the recognizable front half of the Nike shoe, but the back half of the Moroccan slipper. The background of the painting is decorated with these creations as if they are on display, though the sneakers don't currently exist for mass consumption (yet).
"Amerocco" sees a familiar Black object (the Air Force 1s) transformed into something that extends beyond our understanding of what the shoe is or could be. It's not just the shoe, "Amerocco" is also a vision of Blackness that fuses, melds, and transforms cultures in ways that feel collaborative, not exploitative. It's cultural appropriation and reappropriation done right.