Category: Art Merch

Outside the Lines at MOCA today!

Outside the Lines artist coloring book by Souris Hong-Porretta

Hey Folks:

Souris Hong-Porretta is launching her Outside the Lines artist coloring book at MOCA Grand Avenue today, Saturday, from 3-6pm.

There will be music and coloring and plenty of artistes present, including Bret Nicely, Carol Es, Celso, CYRCLE, Dabito, Gary Baseman, JEGA, Jeni Yang, John Freeborn, Katsuo Design, Keith Scharwath, Kozyndan, Laurie Lipton, Lia Halloran, Min Cha, RISK, Saelee Oh, Shepard Fairey, Sherise Lee, Silvio Porretta, Steven Harrington, Theresa Castro, Tofer Chin, Travis Millard, Young Kim and Yuri Shimojo.

If you don’t already have a book, you can pick one up at the MOCA bookstore. And if you’re not in L.A., there is always the internets.


Art books and fake books at the Printed Matter L.A. Art Book Fair

The age of the e-book has created a quandary for people who like to display the things they read (or aspire to read) on the shelves in their homes. Your e-reader may hold a PhD’s worth of Jacques Lacan tomes, but how will your dinner guests know about it? Enter the E-Book Shelf Surrogate (click the image above to supersize), introduced by Hol Art Books at the Printed Matter LA Art Book Fair. At the fair, any visitors who pick up an e-book, will also get an 11×17 print that can be folded into the model of a paper back book, so that you may chicly and casually show off your intellectual ability to your friends. All for only $15!

Tip: while you’re there, pop over to the Gagosian booth, where they’re selling a Destroy All Monsters zine with CD for $30. Probably the only thing I’ll ever be able to afford at Gago, besides the sneering condescension (which is free).

The fair is on through Sunday 6pm, at MOCA Geffen in Little Tokyo.


Photo Diary: The Van Gogh Gift Shop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Recently hit the Philadelphia Museum of Art for Zoe Strauss’s Ten Years (check it!) and Van Gogh: Up Close — the latter of which delivered a spectacular gallery devoted to paintings of grass (duuuude) and a gift shop that is part Whole Foods import aisle/part Marseille Provence Airport. In fact, I haven’t seen art merch this sublimely ridiculous since the Frida Kahlo extravaganza at SFMOMA a few years back.

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Glass House Gift Shopping.

OMG, yes. (Photos by C-M.)

I finally made it to Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Conn., to investigate one of modernism’s more revealing architectural marvels. Ordinarily, I’d be posting all kinds of great pictures from my visit. Except that my visit wasn’t so great, because there was conservation work going on — meaning that half the house was covered in plastic tarps. This woulda been nice to know before we plunked down $90 (plus $2.50 for parking) to go see the damn thing.

Thankfully, I made up for the aggravation by defiling a badly-made Donald Judd sculpture with frivolity and then hitting the gift shop, where I discovered the above treasure: Philip Johnson-esque eyewear, described in the adjacent marketing material as “upscale fashion forward reading glasses.” Otherwise known as the kind of lookers worn by Harry Potter.

Eyeglass prices started at $125. (Seriously.) You can find the old coot in his signature specs here. See photos of our eyeglass fashion shoot after the jump.

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That sublime point where art, politics and merch intersect.

What I Learned Today: Star Cigarettes, a division of Philip Morris, sold a limited edition pack in Europe in the early ’90s that celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall. Shown on the package is a piece of graffiti-covered slab being removed from the wall. It’s bubbly letters read STAR. An ad from the period shows a man’s hand clutching the commemorative pack.

Conceptual artist Martin Kippenberger used this image to create the wallpaper shown above in 1991. (It’s now on view at Luhring Augustine through 6/18). It is so many levels of conceptual: A cigarette company using a political act and someone’s tag to sell cigarettes which are then turned into art that is itself commodified. In other words: the art merch becomes the art. Like, whoa.

Find a bunch of Star Cigarettes special edition packs here. (Scroll to the bottom.)


Own El Schnabel’s pajamas.

Ay, qué macho

There are times I worry that we could one day run out of art industry ridiculosity to write about. And then I read my e-mail. Waiting for me in my inbox this evening was a forwarded missive from the Dumbo Arts Center advertising an e-Bay auction fundraiser. Up for bid? Julian Schnabel’s jailhouse-style PJs from a 1995 shoot with Annie Leibovitz:

The dark blue, yellow-striped pajamas are a laundered, paint-splattered, lovingly mended and patched two-piece collectible, signed by the artist. As if that weren’t enough, the winning bidder will receive Annie Leibovitz’s famous 16” x 20” portrait (Archival Pigment print, 1995, signed and dated) featuring Mr. Schnabel wearing the same PJs.

If owning the garment that once encased El Schnabel’s schvitzy, bear-like physique isn’t incentive to spend $2,000, then I don’t know what is. But shit, they’re also “lovingly mended” and “signed by the artist” which makes me think that plunking your good money down on this ensemble is a better investment than gold.

You’ve got ’til next Saturday to bid. Get on it.