A few days ago, Hunny Bunny went to check the mail and returned to report that our brand new mailbox had been tagged. Although he seemed rather annoyed, I was pretty stoked. A graffiti artist! Chose to tag! Our mailbox! I had swirling visions of Banksy and the old school subway taggers of yesteryear so I sprinted outside to take a look, only to find that HB had overstated the situation. It was total crap. Just a squiggle unworthy of the lowest tagger. Obviously the work of the roving preteen amateur gang of hooligans that live down the street, riding their skateboards and smoking their cigarettes and having their fun. Damn them. Perhaps the recent onslaught of graffiti'd furnishings can fill the gaping hole of bitter disappointment left by my lofty expectations?
London-based graffiti artist KID4EVA reinvents the classics at Burke and Hazelden. If I thought I could paint even half as well I'd give my fusty brown credenza the rainbow treatment seen on that dreamy armoire. Over the top tackaliciousness in all its glory. My favorite piece by far.
But there are tagged armoires a plenty, like this pair seen at Matthew Higham Antiques:
I wish I could give credit to the artists on this one because -- let's face it -- these boring boxes are nothing without their flossy paint jobs. Graffiti'd furnishings carried by upscale retailers create an interesting conundrum since the style is generally meant to be ephemeral -- non commercial, not permanent and not a commodity. (Although there have been many discussions lately about Banksyified walls being removed, so that what was meant to be street art can be sold as murals to private collectors. See this article here for more information.)
If you aren't grooving on those graphics but still pine for the hand painted, how about these refined meet edgy pieces by Jimmie Martin:
I have to say that I probably would have liked these pieces even without their fancy treatments because I've always had a sweet spot for the baroque, most likely because my dear mother never met a curved line or a damask print she didn't like. Still, the contrast colored interiors are flashy and fly.
Holy camoffiti! The dreaded barstool attacks! So are these streetwise collaborations a way for graffiti artists to make some cheese off the work they already enjoy doing, or is it just another bourgeois commodification of art, becoming all style and no substance?
Instead of tagging on the surface, the tag becomes the surface in Luis Alcandu's shapely furnishings:
Wouldn't it be fun to tag up the wall behind a frameless mirror? You know, if you have talent (or an opaque projector)?
For those who live large, Ted Nemeth's designs combine an extravagantly tough aesthetic with an insane commitment to craft:
The result: ballers only. (seen here)
Meanwhile, these sweet and light pieces by Anna James have been making rounds on ye olde interweb:
The armoire is charmingly named "Vernona" while the end tables are "Romeo and Juliet." Stodgy Italiante structural flourishes merge with a juvenile spirit in a popular and adaptable style. A veritable DIY maelstrom of scribbles and gouges has been born. (seen here)
John Derian sofa vs Ikea Klippan sofa. Hmmm. War of the wallets.
And the trend keeps devolving:
These photos are courtesy of the website DIY Kids. Surely everyone has joked that even a kid could make modern art. Does that mean we should actually let kids write all over our furniture? What happens when you sit on that ink filled fabric? Or spill a drink on that ink covered table?
Why not just give them some disposable furniture to ruin. Like this:
Factum is marketing a recycled cardboard chair kit that even comes with markers so you can make your own DIY disaster. Ok, maybe it's just me, but my chair would not come out looking like that. I may not even be able to top the Hooligan Gang's masterpiece on our mailbox.
Don't worry. I wouldn't leave you with those pictures.
What is art, what is commerce, what is a pretty trend, and what is just a messy disguise for messiness? I see a lot of pieces I covet, and I'm a little conflicted. Anyone care to tell me how I should feel?