Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Ad", by C, Texas, markers and capitalism

You may not realize that before he was a pop culture sensation and the most sought after artist in the world, Andy Warhol was a…drum roll, please…commercial artist. Gasp! Oh the horror! In fact, quite a few artists have taken the reverse route from selling their soul commercially to the hard, honest, absolute truth of the fine arts (selling your soul sans deadlines to billionaire “patrons” who sit atop commercial empires). But few have taken as blatant and direct a route as Texas’s own C – who is apparently hunky-dory pairing her plastic, one-dimensional work with brand names slapped across as subtle as an ice pick to the eardrum. Bebe Gear is a line of children’s clothing – cute as a button, I might add – who claims to have no contractual ties with the artist. Could it be a precocious youngster’s update on Warhol’s classic Campbell’s Soup? Let’s discuss. Warhol’s fascination with mass produced iconography was simple and well-documented; the Coca-Colas and Campbell soups of America were and are the great equalizers – presidents and the poor have equal access to a consistent taste. Warhol’s work was packaged social commentary. The rudimentary structure and glaring inconsistencies in C’s "Ad" lead us to only one conclusion: C has sold out before she ever clocked in.