Retired Jerseys Statement

How is it everyday objects can express empathy and evoke shared memories of past experiences? By charging an object with meaning we change its purpose and value. Maybe the highest calling an object can have is for it to move past its use value and become something more. Through their connection to a time, place, and or person, objects become resonant conveyors of meaning. Once imbued with meaning, they can speak, act and heal. 

I lost my older brother, David, in a car accident in 1996. He was only 20 years old and since it was 1996, there weren’t a lot of pictures or video of him. I cherish the few I have but I noticed his objects held a much deeper power over me. People connect with the story of my brother as well as their own memories stored in each of the objects represented in these works. Whether recalling their own meanings within these objects or connecting with the story of my brother, nostalgia becomes a balm for the everyday.

Like most younger siblings, I thought my brother was a legend. By elevating the physicality of both his objects and ones of that time period, I am presenting a somewhat biased portrait of his life and athletic prowess. This is where the series title, “Retired Jerseys” came from. 

The works are hanging sculptures made from cast UV-stable epoxy resin. Some are clear or tinted while others are vintage shirt designs re-imagined as clear or translucent versions of their original selves. Simply put, clear is a metaphor for the intangibility of memory. Some are accentuated with objects from the time period they represent. These include vintage fake Oakley sunglasses, a vintage Drakkar Noir cologne sample, vintage yellow Sony Sports headphones and a vintage pager to name a few.



Chris Bakay is a multidisciplinary visual artist living and working in Houston, TX. His work is informed by past personal experiences as well as commentary on human nature. Born in 1977, in Atlanta, GA, he studied Design at The Creative Circus. Press highlights include: Artnet News, Untitled Magazine, New York Observer, Stylus, Luxury Standard, Tech Cocktail and a segment on Fox News with Andrea Tantaros. 



Selected Group Exhibitions

2018 The Big Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX, (curated by Evelyn C. Hankins, PhD.)

2017 OVERNEATHNorthern-Southern Gallery, Austin, TX, (curated by Rachel Freeman)

2017 The Big Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX (curated by Toby Kamps)

2016 The Big Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX (curated by Apsara DiQuinzio and Tina Kukielski)

2014 Voids, Shadows and Believable Things (with Brad Nelson), Avis Frank Gallery, Houston, TX

2013 Spring Introduction Group Show, Avis Frank Gallery, Houston, TX

2012 Black & White & Color, Winter St Gallery, Houston, TX

2011 Living Walls, Eyedrum, Atlanta, GA

2010 Plastic, Eyedrum, Atlanta, GA

2010 Living Walls, Eyedrum, Atlanta, GA



2017 Nike, clear VaporMax sculptures for Air Max Day, NYC 



Moloney, Tim. "Icy Hot", Local Houston Magazine. June 2017

Barrington, Molly. Interview, March 31, 2017

Zierold, Ariadna. "Retired Jerseys by Chris Bakay", March 14, 2017

Staff. "Retired Jerseys by Artist Chris Bakay" March 6, 2017

Stylus Staff. “Framing Reality”,, January 29, 2015

Tantaros, Andrea. “Smartphone addictions: Why we need to unplug”,, January 22, 2015

Newman, Kira. “This Is the Cure for Our Smartphone Addiction”,, January 14, 2015

Cascone, Sarah. “Koons Purses and Hirst Jewelry in Our Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide”,, December 23, 2014

Untitled Magazine Staff. “Realism: An Alternative to Our Addiction to Smartphones”,, December 18, 2014

Luxury Standard Staff . “Realism: The Ultimate Smart Device”,, December 11, 2014

Taylor, Jordyn. “Here’s a Gift to Piss Off All Your Tech-Addicted Family Members”,, December 10, 2014


Guest Lectures

2018 The Big Slide Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX

2017 The Big Slide Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX

2016 The Big Slide Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX 


Gallery Affiliation

2013-2015 Avis Frank Gallery