well, from time to time, you get asked to remove sculptures that were made in 2007 that have been stored in a family members garage since then.  As a budding sculptor, in those days i explored the idea of art, particularly sculpture, as a justification for ppl to, well... make...things.  I talked of the requirements of something being considered a sculpture, that it had to be an object that occupied volume in any given space.  In the fall of 2007 I was blessed to have my first solo art exhibition in the then exciting arts district called Miami Circle (ATL).  In that show i exhibited a number of sculptural objects, multiples and isometric drawings of mundane appliances, just to name of frew.  One drawing sold.  of the work that was shown, one of the pcs were two life-sized wooden recreations of a washing machine and dryer.  6 months ago i turned those two useless sculptures into these functional, ebony-stained, solid 1/2" acrylic drawers, night stands.  check ya boi.


we got this, honey

Ppl often stare in disbelief after having asked me what it is that I actually do.  If you have ever questioned me in this fashion you should know that my usual response is: "Everything" (or more specifically)  "I can build anything".  I mean, it is the truth.  It's not that I like to brag or boast of my own abilities, I have just been bless't.

A few months ago, I was standing in line at a make-shift Starbucks when I overheard the snickering of two fashion industry professionals.  These two gentlemen were discussing a third individual whom I assume they both knew.  The more portly man said to the other,

"...and he says that his firm is 'multidisciplinary'...ha, ha, ha.."

In a burgeoning world of "unbelievers", I, along with RDD, stand as an exception to a withering rule.  Future design generations face a huge opposition.  This resistance will come not from their peers but from the competitive critiques of their professors.  Who being blatant skeptics to modernity promote a standard only good enough to gain employment for someone else.

Even though the vessel is found equipped with the necessary thick black-framed glasses, drop-crotch harems, and every pair of Jeremy Scott for Adidas high-top's produced, the antiquated message is the same:  EXTREME SPECIALIZATION IS THE ONLY OPTION.

I doubt it.  

2 dresses I made in 2 days for the closing of the Frida & Deigo show at the High Museum.

Frida & Diego Dresses by Antonio Darden.  Models: Shari & Cindy Madkins.

Frida & Diego Dresses by Antonio Darden.  Models: Shari & Cindy Madkins.

Frida & Deigo Fashion Show.  High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA.  

Frida & Deigo Fashion Show.  High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA.  

we came in second't

Four weeks ago I entered a cute competition held by the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) at the annual Dogwood Festival held in Atlanta's Piedmont Park.  As a part of the Museum's "Hands on Design" effort, the competition was called The Great Chair Hak.  This is a competition in which each team is given a chair-like item from Ikea's warehouse and asked to create anything but a chair.  I assembled a team consisting of two of my very good friends: Matthew Sigmon and Ryan Vihlen.  (#TeamA.R.M. aka #Team2Chairz)

In the competition, ten teams were all given an unassembled Ikea bench.  All were very small and considered to be of "Ikea quality", which in most cases means that the said item will not make it pass one move.  My biggest fear was that we would be the most equipped (i.e. tools, skillz, and looks) team and still not be able to complete what was being asked of us.  

One-and-a-half hours into this three-hour process, in spite of our relentless brainstorming, we were still unable to mesh as a team and an idea.  With an overflow of equipment and tools I finally suggested: "Why don't we just make a table saw?"...and that rest is history.  

After a soul-stirring demo we placed 2nd concerning the judges.  We did however become the "People's Champ" by placing 1st in the People's Choice Award.  We Love the PPL>

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collaborations, fashion, design

nu tings

we live in the season of collaborations... That is, ever since the first utterance of the shortened "CUH-LAB-BO!" was screamed at the beginning of mid-90s hip-hop/R&B track.

It is with great pleasure that I can bare witness of a new opportunity that has shown it's self on the horizon. Even though said party and I have indirectly taken a vow of secrecy, it is almost debilitating not to show signs of excitement about future possibilities. Anyone that knows me knows where a lot of my passion lay. This particular endeavor has the ability to take me closer to those ultimate dream-scapes.

Ambitions fail when there is not 100% support by all parties involved. I sincerely believe in this project synopsis. I could stand here and argue the "Creative as Shah-man" theory but with that said, it goes without saying. As creatives, it is our responsibility to heal the land of it's destitute fruition's.

Expect sneak peeks this summer. Definitely be on the look out for A/W 2013.

It's a small ting.

We often find ourselves doing multiple-layered projects for one particular client. In conjunction with designer Brittany Monet Masters, we have taken on several responsibilities in a redesign project. This particular task involved re-stretching/mounting two beloved (of the client) oil paintings and fabricating custom frames for them. They frames are a stained solid oak.


"Uh, in America we call it 'Americano'."

Dealing with the drudgery of having to get an IPhone replaced is a rather daunting task.  Most of the time, the "haters" outfitted in blue "Apple" shirts, find every reason not to freely give you what is deserved under some Apple Care clause.  These scientists loom with their microscopically enabled LED lights into the inner parts of your handset.  (Said person is trying to identify a certain moisture-stained pink dot.)  When their probe is complete, you will most likely be told the statement: "U, uh, dropp't ur phone in water din't u".  Only then will you realize that your irrelevant appointment and one-hour in-store wait resulted with $53.99 less on your credit card.  (That is if you have Apple Care)

In most cases, sans usage of the iCloud feature, you lose your photos that had been taken since the last "back up" was performed.  I was forced to get a new phone earlier this year.  After my uneventful experience at the Lenox Square location I decided I would try the boonies and headed to MOG (Mall of Georgia).  Fortunately for myself the representative at the particular store, aside from trying to program their own digits into my phone, was able to have it replaced. 

Milling down Aluminum Espresso Tamper.

Milling down Aluminum Espresso Tamper.

With that said...I have been pulling from my Instagram account (@antbankss) to post some of these pictures.  To the right is a picture of an espresso tamper I have been turning on the metal lathe.  I love anything involving the usage of espresso.  Because of that I decided to treat myself to a custom tamper to make brewing my Americanos easier.



Sometimes we make pick ups

Sometimes I marvel at how perfect an amalgamation of both of my parents I have grown to become.  My mother taught me how to cook, how to dress,  and what luxury brands I should love.  I often see her in my own designs.  Simple juxtapositions of 2 ct. diamond rings, Louis bags and EBT cards.  My father taught me most everything else that a son should learn from his father.  I contribute some of my inherited artistic abilities to him and his proficiency in rendering a "turtle-necked black man w/ afro" at the impatient request of a child.  And from him comes my unsatisfying love for hot rods and/or muscle cars.  I have vivid memories of him using a chain and a towering tree limb to transplant a rebuilt Chevy 350 engine into a 1972 Nova.  These recollections inform me every time I click through my weekly Craigslist sweep of "C-10's".  Most of all, I think he has taught me how to see perfection in imperfection.  It is almost as if I have been indoctrinated with a certain "fixer-upper" mentality.  Although I am speaking in terms applicable to the entire design spectrum, there is a certain nauseating excitement that I feel every time I am in the presence of an idling older model vehicle.

With all that said...this is a 1966 C-10 I purchased in 2011.  In hind site I have identified it as an impulse buy that was meant to fill the void of a 1967 model that was stolen from me.

Getting lumber to build objects.

Getting lumber to build objects.