By Design: The Mag’s new home

ESPN The Magazine relocated its main operations from NYC to the Bristol headquarters in early June.

Its new home is Building 0. Affectionately known by its former occupants as :00 or “the buzzer-beater,” Building 0 was completely remodeled and transformed into an open, loft-like space reminiscent of the 34th Street site that Magazine just left.

The new environment was created to enhance the creative culture that is The Magazine, and help its newly-transplanted staff feel at home.

A bright and expansive new mural overlooks the entire Magazine staff from the rear wall of the space.

Sized at 30 feet wide and 8 feet high, this piece of art presents a whole new dynamic world of sports, featuring the abstracted likenesses of Lionel Messi, Travis Pastrana, Serena Williams, Adrian Peterson, Kobe Bryant, Tim Lincecum, Sidney Crosby, Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods, Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

The work employs a highly refined print process using a flatbed printer on brushed aluminum panels.

The specific order of the inks and their transparency properties is what gives it a luminous effect.

The print techniques were painstaking pioneered by the mural’s creator, Kirk Bauer.

In developing the imagery, Kirk uses a meticulous process of reduction and simplification of photographic information, layering and emphasizing linear elements to draw out underlying rhythms within the image. Unlike much of his other work, this mural is full of vibrant color and within this large space, feels almost like stained glass.

Kirk is an artist who has worked in The Magazine’s production department since 1998. His own artwork evolved separately, though greatly influenced by the aesthetic sense he developed in working with photography and with other art professionals there.

The fact that Kirk is soon leaving The Magazine to pursue his art career full time — he has shows coming up in Taipei, Rio De Janeiro and domestically — is sad for ESPN, but very exciting.

“Being asked to create a mural for the new ESPN Magazine office was a real honor and just another example of the great opportunities The Magazine has given me over the past 13 years.

“And leaving a piece of my art in the new office, well, I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye.”

In the close-knit Magazine family, Kirk will be deeply missed. But his presence will be felt every day through his generous artistic contribution at Building 0.

Kirk, from your friends at ESPN: Best of luck in all your creative adventures! Thanks to you, Building 0 will surely be a new stop on the Bristol Campus Tour.

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