In 1962, Andy Warhol exhibited his famous Campbell's Soup Cans paintings for the first time and cemented his place as a Pop Art powerhouse. Previously, Warhol had bridged his commercial and fine art efforts with paintings based on comic strips and advertisements, but he (rightly) felt that style had already been done by Lichtenstein and others. So why soup cans? Smithsonian has the story in an excerpt from Blake Gopnik's new book Warhol. From Smithsonian:
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Warhol’s final breakthrough into ’60s Pop came through an accidental inspiration from a minor dealer on the New York scene named Muriel Latow. She was a flamboyant decorator, three years younger than Warhol, and had hopes of becoming a serious art dealer. Latow has gone down in history as Pop Art’s most important, if accidental, muse. As the story is told—in one of its many, mostly incompatible versions—Latow went to a dinner at Warhol’s house in the fall of ’61 to console him for having been one-upped by Oldenburg and Lichtenstein and others. “The cartoon paintings...it’s too late,” Warhol is supposed to have said. “I’ve got to do something that really will have a lot of impact, that will be different enough from Lichtenstein.” He begged his guests for ideas, and Latow came up with one, but wouldn’t deliver until Warhol handed over a check for $50. “You’ve got to find something that’s recognizable to almost everybody,” she said. “Something you see every day that everybody would recognize. Something like a can of Campbell’s Soup.”
Give me a fun novelty purse and I'm a happy gal. The kitschier the better. My collection ranges from vintage Enid Collins bags to modern-day Betsey Johnson ones (the whipped cream can is probably my favorite). My most recent acquisition is shaped to look like an oversized box of Chinese food. Now I've learned that Russian Etsy shop KruKru Studio is making leather purses that look like gas cans ($180), and lots of other uniquely-shaped bags. All of them are out of my price range but I still appreciate the heck out of them.
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Big Data is now dapper. An enterprising Etsy seller is making scarves that looks like oversized versions of CVS' impossibly long register receipts, coupons and all. These 59-inch-LONG fleece scarves are available from ReceiptScarves for $19.
Of course, I'm reminded of the IKEA rug that looks like an IKEA receipt.
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Neiman Marcus sells a hot dog couch for $7,100 plus shipping. Read the rest
It's pop art! It's furniture! It's a stack of plastic coat hangers! Yep, the frame of this chair stacks plastic coat hangers. And not just stack them, Designer Joey Zeldon's Coat Check Chair isn't a chair without them.
By bringing the elements of the closet into the foreground of a person’s daily routine, the Coat Check Chair offers a unique design and a gentle encouragement to stay neat. The hangers’ flexible plastic makes the chair surprisingly comfortable, while its impermanent construction lets users customize in terms of hanger color and pattern. Timeless and practical, the Coat Check Chair can fit in your studio, home, boutique, hotel or gallery, letting your closet join the party.
He reports that the chair can withstand at least 170 lbs., which is what he weighs:
You can get the Coat Check Chair through Kickstarter for the early bird price of $449.
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Want to be buried in a giant wooden coffin that looks like a Coke bottle?
Coffin artist Paa Joe is the guy who can make that happen. He crafts fantasy wood "proverb coffins" (aka as abebuu adekai in his culture) out of his shop in Ghana. He's considered the grandfather of the fantasy coffin trade and his work is exhibited in museums worldwide. But hard times fell on his business.
Paa Joe & The Lion is the 2017 documentary that tells the story of how he and his son are rebuilding the family legacy together. It's now available to stream on Amazon (free with Prime). It's really inspiring!
Paa Joe dreams of his bygone days — bringing money home in briefcases and work being shipped to galleries the world over. Now, he sleeps as the cars hurtle passed. There are no customers, no tourists — there are no coffins to make. His son, Jacob, dreams too, he dreams of returning his father to his glory days and rebuilding the family legacy together. Over the next four years they stand side-by-side, conquering love and death and embracing a life changing opportunity to travel to the UK to undertake an artist residency. It is the start of their future together — master and son... Paa Joe & The Lion
Here's a look at some of his pieces:
via john nash
Cacao pod coffin image via akhenatenator
via Allison Meier
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Rhino fantasy coffin
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A mighty oak tree has broken leaving a legacy behind. Read the rest
Using old toothbrushes, nutrition facts, electronics, vintage beer pull tabs, light bulbs and other junk, pop artist Jason Mecier has created a portrait of Pee-wee Herman.
According to Pee-wee himself, some of the materials Mecier used were inspired by the pop culture icon's first film, Pee-wee's Big Adventure. The toothbrushes? Those were prompted by the "mad dog" scene at the beginning of the movie. Remember when Pee-wee poured the Mr. T cereal? That's where the nutrition facts come into play in this piece.
He then used the electronics and light bulbs to match the grey in Pee-wee's a-little-too-small suit and to make that bowtie pop, he added red glitter.
This is a brand new piece by Mecier. He created it to include in his new book Pop Trash. It will be shown for the first time at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, beginning at the book's launch party on August 3.
(Pee-wee Herman) Read the rest
Fashion designer Virgil Abloh has been working on pieces for an upcoming IKEA collection. One of the first pieces to be unveiled is this pop-art rug that looks like an oversized shopping receipt.
During IKEA's annual conference today, the brand revealed the first official photos for the upcoming Markerad collection, which has been in the works for over a year and is aimed at millennials...
The Markerad collection is due to hit stores in 2019. Other pieces in the range include slogan-covered rugs and Abloh's take on the IKEA Frakta bag.
In early May, HYPEBEAST shared this video of some of the other pieces in Abloh's collection for IKEA, including his slogan-covered rugs and that modified Frakta bag:
My first thoughts on the rug: I kind of love it but it's not long enough. IKEA receipts are like a mile long. Maybe it should've been a hallway runner instead.
image via Dezeen Read the rest
I spy (a brand new junk portrait of) Pee-wee Herman at the :29 mark
Exciting news: Jason Mecier, the artist who makes celebrity mosaic portraits in junk (or other objects like candy or cereal) has announced his first book. It's called Pop Trash: The Amazing Art of Jason Mecier and it's due out July 17, 2018.
...Here is Amy Sedaris assembled from her own trash, David Bowie made out of cosmetics and feathers, Snoop Dogg sculpted out of weed, Justin Timberlake and Miley Cyrus crafted out of candy, Kevin Bacon bespoke in bacon, and many, many more. Fun process shots offer behind-the-scenes insights into the meticulous work required to create these candy-colored—and literally trashy—spotlights (how much licorice does it take to make Harry Potter?). With mesmerizing tributes to icons ranging from Stevie Nicks to Farrah Fawcett to Honey Boo Boo, this gallery of the famous and infamous is a visual treat for fans of pop culture and pop art alike.
You can pre-order it now for $29.95.
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In 1966, John Wilcock contributed to ASPEN MAGAZINE, an arts project dubbed "The Magazine in a Box" for its unconventional format. This same issue featured design throughout by Andy Warhol and the first single to ever be released for the Velvet Underground, entitled "Loop".
Here are two great tastes that taste great together: Fast food and furniture.
European design firm Studio Job teamed up with Italian home goods and furniture house Seletti to create furniture fashioned after fast food.
at maison et objet 2017 in paris, seletti and studio job are bringing fast food to the fair. a hot dog and hamburger — archetypal images of american pop-culture — are transformed into actual furnishings, giving rise to the ‘UN_LIMITED EDITIONS’ collection. the debut of the series marks the italian brand’s introduction to the world of upholstered furniture, amalgamating studio job’s irreverent attitude and penchant for playfulness, with seletti’s accessible affordability.
Yes, I would like fries (lamp? pillow? rug?) with that.
images by Loek Blonk via designboom Read the rest
Japanese manga artist Junko Mizuno is known for her dizzying mix of everything from Japanese cute culture to erotic and pin-up art to religious and fairy tale imagery. In TRIAD, an absolutely stunning 16-page book, she brings three of her characters to life in 3D pop-up form — the Nurse, the Witch, and the Wrestler. The trio appears in five pop-up spreads, Ocean, Serpent, Triptych, Mansion, and Tree.
There is no text to the book, and no explicit narrative that I could discern. But there’s so much going on here, so much whimsy and weirdness, and some very clever use of pop-up book technology. This is really a piece of interactive art exploiting the book format. If you’re a fan of Junko Mizuno, Japanese manga and pop art, or of pop-up books in general, you will likely be as blown away by TRIAD as I was.
This little video flick-through by Poposition Press will give you a better idea of the blazing eye-candy to be had in TRIAD.
by Junko Mizuno
2016, 16 pages, 11.5 x 9.0 x 1.5 inches, Hardcover
$50 Buy one at Popsition
See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest
My brother Carl Hamm (Twitter), who is a club and radio DJ and a collector of obscure but excellent global stuff, shares the images in this post and says:
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A friend of Boing Boing introduced me to the work of artist Kii Arens this weekend. We visited his studio for a karaoke party. It was great. I love his work. You can buy it in reasonably affordable poster form, through his website: lalalandposters.com. I would like one of everything, please. Kii is on Twitter and Facebook. (Thanks, Alex!) Read the rest