Saturday, May 17, 2008

At the altar of consumerism

First it was Murakami selling ladies handbags at the Brooklyn Museum. Now Chuck Close, Jeff Koons and a clutch of other 'brand-name' artists are hawking T-shirts.

Here are three more ideas categorized by economic strata for artists to strut:

For those strapped for cash:
- Artists monogrammed condoms (designed to be washable for reuse - c'mon, you cannot throw away something monogrammed by the artist you adore)

For those with a little to spend:
- Lipstick flavored with the taste of the artists favorite culinary dish (lipstick designed to be edible - even if one does not like the color, this way it can still be a part of you)

For those who do not know how to spend:
- Diamond engagement bands with laser etched artwork (of course, the diamonds must be conflict free)

Some of the reasons that ‘brand-name’ artist come up with to market their creations border on ridiculous. The handbag idea was hatched after the World Trade Center went down and was originally marketed with the premise that such a move will help New York(ers) get out of the prevailing 9/11 sadness (see blurb below).

From the New York Times: Still, nothing the company ever did hit the jackpot like Mr. Murakami’s cherry-ornamented and “Multico” bags, which came about, as Mr. Carcelle explained, after 9/11, when the Vuitton designer, Marc Jacobs, suggested to his corporate bosses that it was no good to mourn forever: fashion had a responsibility, ahem, to help people past their grief. “Marc said,” Mr. Carcelle recalled, ‘If I work with Takashi, and we do something colorful, I think it will help make New York strong again.’

Advertisement for T-shirts: Chuck Close (left) peddling his own design and curvy model on the right struts a Jeff Koons design

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