Sunday, August 29, 2010

AT&T Commercial and Signature Styles.

This is a pretty interesting commercial. I wonder how many college age art students were chilling at home watching TV when this commercial came on and made them recall one of the most talked about artist duos in art history.
Jean Claude and Christo, the artists who are known for wrapping things that are not normally wrapped, and The Gates(google it if you don't remember) in NYC a few years ago, seem to have collaborated with AT&T to create this commercial. But wait! At the end of it, they say that Jean Claude and Christo have no direct or indirect part in this commercial. Isn't it weird that they even have to make that disclaimer? I think that is the thing that is the most curious to me.

Should there be a disclaimer for something like this? I wonder if AT&T thought that they would use the same colors and techniques as Jean Claude and Christo's The Gates from a few years back to somehow connect to the collective pop cultural unconscious, by making us nostalgic for that one year where people who knew nothing about art, just talked about how stupid that whole thing in the park was. This memory of jokes from late night talk shows would some how influence us, making them able to sell a crapload of cellphones or something.

Did they have to put the disclaimer because Jean Claude and Christo's people tried to sue them, or was it a preemptive strike against suing? I like to think that AT&T made this commercial similar to The Gates (for some reason), and Jean Claude and Christo said:

"Hey, we don't sell out to people, and you are ruining our good names! Put a disclaimer on this commercial so art students don't think were corporate sell outs, and maybe we won't sue you!"

In reality, it could have more than likely been the opposite. Maybe AT&T did the commercial for some reason, and Jean Claude and Christo said "Hey, you didn't pay us for that! We're suing!"

I guess it doesn't really matter how it happened, but it is fun to think about. I like copyright laws, but I have mixed emotions. I enjoy the option of appropriation, and use it often in my work. Look at people like Shepard Fairey getting sued over his HOPE image, and people like Jeff Koons who I have heard gets sued all the time. Their work is hugely appropriation driven, but it is in a way which changes the original images, and removes the context, makes them barely noticeable.

Could this be a valid argument for the AT&T commercial? I mean Jean Claude and Christo never wrapped the Hollywood sign, or the St. Louis arch as far as I know. They just used the same artistic process. Yet the disclaimer remains. But do we put disclaimers on every advertisement that uses screenprinting, simply because artists like Lichtenstein, and Warhol used the same process? Or is the process of wrapping things in fabric, such a unique and clearly identifiable process, that it makes it unavoidable to use it without clearly referencing Jean Claude and Christo's copyrighted artistic works?

I was trying to think of other techniques by contemporary artists that used methods singular to that artist, but until we start seeing advertising using the same methods as the "Piss Christ", that dude who made a mold of his head out of frozen blood, the person who made paintings out of elephant dung, and a guy who, if I recall, nailed himself to a Volkswagen as a performance piece, we will just have to let our imaginations run wild with AT&T and Jean Claude and Christo.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fossil's LONG LIVE VINTAGE campaign @ Hatch Show Print

I can't believe I didn't show you guys this sooner. During the internship we did some work for Fossil(the clothing and watch people). Since we were new, we kind of showed up at the end of everything, but if you look closely, you can see the other interns and myself, running super-speed in the pan of the shop. It was a very cool experience.

Right now at Fossil's website you can find out more about the Long Live Vintage/Long Live Art Campaign. You can also buy a Hatch Show Print poster, and some T-shirts and things like that also.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I < 3 Printmaking.

This video is selling Levis but that's ok. If you don't think about the advertising, and just think about the sound of printing presses, the smell of ink, the swipe of a squeegee across a screen, or the feeling of a blade cutting through a block of wood, then it makes you feel kind of warm and fuzzy. Or at least it does for me.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

OBEY in Cincinnati and Print Collection Vol. 6

For months I have been wanting to see the current Shepard Fairey exhibit that has been making its was cross country, and this weekend I will get the chance. I thought about going to check it out at the Warhol,(since this past year would have been my 3rd bi-annual pilgrimage) but time and money didn't allow it. My family and I will be spending a day in the Newport/Cinci area to check out among other things, the Supply and Demand show at the Contemporary Art Center. It closes August 22nd I think, and I was afraid that with all of the things going on in my life right now financially, and personally, that I wouldn't get the chance to see it when it was going to be at its closest. So I am sure there will be more to report when I get back on Monday.

Did you see the image above? It is quite a coincidence that I am going to Cinci this weekend to see this show because according to the Obey website, Saturday the 7th is the release of a new print on the occasion of the closing of the show. It is printed on canvas too, much like the current string of Obey print releases. Hopefully it won't sell out in 24 hours and I can add another Obey print to my print collection, and have a nice souvenir of my trip to Cincinnati and seeing the show.

The last time I was in Cincinnati, I was working, and ended up going to a great record store called Shake-It records. They were selling concert posters by a company called Powerhouse Factories ( It was a tough call because a lot of the posters were very well designed and printed, but I didn't like the bands, while others were bands I liked, but the design work was not as impressive as some of the other posters. I think I found a happy medium and got a Matt and Kim poster. It has a pretty basic-yet solid design and great colors. The layers are not too complex, and the colors are pretty much laid down one on top of the other without having to wonder how they will overlap, and what the sense of space will feel like. One of my favorite parts of this piece is that it fit perfectly into a frame without it being custom made. This so rarely happens.