Graff Artists Ripped Off on Designer Fashion Site
Designer flash sale website, Gilt, is bringing street art into the home with their latest collection “Fluorescent Palace.” In the product shots, the prints are prominently featured in modern, fashionable homes – and with no credit given to the array of graffiti artists whose signature tags are appropriated in the pieces.
The above print “Read It in The News Pink” borrows from French graffiti artist, Zevs. The prominent Parisian tagger is well known for his “liquidated logos” – among them Chanel, Louis Vuitton, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola. The print below, “Louis on the Wall Reverse,” features another liquidated logo, this time collaged over the tags of André Pierre Charles and Vescr. Paradoxically, Gilt’s appropriation brings Zevs work back into the realm of high fashion and commercialism – which is just why he appropriated the logos in the first place.
A similar sort of appropriation happens with “Adrenachrome,” a print featuring a Sever tag layered with an Instagram-esque photo and gradient (see below). This isn’t the first time Sever’s work has been sampled without consent: Fab 5 Freddy used portions of Sever’s tags in his paintings. Another print, “Graffiti Alley,” uses a photograph of artist Jeff Soto’s mural that was originally painted on the exterior of Eyebeam Gallery in Chelsea.
The references don’t stop there. “Warhol Monument NYC” (below) features the work of Rob Pruitt, the sculptor who created the Andy Warhol statue in Manhattan’s Union Square.
Borrowing excessively from street artists, these prints make commercial the tags and art that was intended to be a very critique on commercialism. This summer, Gilt reproduced a series of Banksy canvas prints that called into question property rights, artist intent, and the concept of “selling out” – the latter of which Banksy was accused of because of this mass-production of his work. The company describes this current collection as having a “Technicolor quality that gives the stylish subjects they capture – like graffiti-splattered fashion logos – a presence that is hyperbolic and subversive at once.” Seems a little subversive to mass-produce the work of graffiti artists and give no credit where credit is due.
Text: Nicola Parisi
Photo: Gilt, Curated Mag, Gzzglz