I am not a music purist or an art hardliner by any stretch of the imagination. I am daily amazed at the fact that the art world thinks advertising is a four letter word and that any ounce of success is met with buckets of scorn. I do have to say though that in all the years that I have kept up with the art business and the advertising business I have rarely if ever seen a mix of art and commerce so off putting and poorly fitting as Vera Wang’s latest blitz for her new clothing line at Kohls.
As you can see and hear in the video below the concept is three women (an asain, a redhead & a blond) are driving across the American west (ala a trip with Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo) with their hair down and feet swaying in the breeze to the tune of…………. America’s “Horse With No Name”. Whether deservingly or not the song has a inherited theme that is about as contrary to the message of the video as is really possible.
It’s as if the writer of the concept was so determined to get the idea of “American” across in the commercial he/she picked the song cause it was written by a band called America and matched his/her use of the barren desert. I can only assume the person went to U2 and tried to get the rights to the song “In God’s Country” and was rightfully told to take a hike and this was their second choice?
To me this is as tasteless as the Sony PSP ad promoting the new “white” player by showing a Aguileraesque white girl death gripping a black girl. Also as mindless as the rightfully humorous perfume ad in Eddie Murphy’s film Boomerang
Vera waits for years to release her budget conscious clothing line to have it played this way? You know someone in that boardroom thought this was dumb but I guess had the sense to keep his/her job and say nothing.
A 16th century nude painting of the Roman goddess Venus has been banned from being part of the ad campaign for London’s Royal Academy of Arts upcoming exhibition on 16th century German painter and printmaker Lucas Cranach the Elder. Officials are banning it for fear it’s “exhibitionist” qualities could cause offense.
The promotional poster which was set to be displayed in the London Underground train system had transportation officials concerned since:
“Millions of people travel on the London Underground each day, and they have no choice but to view whatever adverts are posted there,”
“We have to take into account the full range of travellers [sic British] and endeavour [sic more British] not to cause offence [sic my god can't the British spell in English..... yes I know it's an off colour joke] in the adverts we display.”
According to the London Underground, the poster breached its guidelines against ads that depict Read more
Tracy Emin has been in the news twice this past week. Emin is currently one of six artists being considered for a Â£300,000 ($436,717.30) commission for the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. According to London.gov, â€œThe Fourth Plinth is in the north-west of Trafalgar Square, in central London. Built in 1841, it was originally intended for an equestrian statue but was empty for many years. It is now the location for specially commissioned art works.â€ Eminâ€™s proposal is for a small cluster of meerkats standing on one side of the plinth.
Steve Henry, who is the creative director of TBWA, claims that Eminâ€™s proposal is totally jocking on an advertisement his company did for E.on which depicts a cluster of meerkats standing on boxes. Emin denies having seen the advertisement: â€œI havenâ€™t been influenced by any advertising campaign in my life. The fact is that I adore meerkats. I have drawings of meerkats from 12 years ago. Iâ€™m completely besotted by the creatures. A plinth is not a box … they have to be standing on a plinth as itâ€™s in Trafalgar Square.â€
In other news Emin will be inaugurating the Tracy Emin Library on February 18th in Uganda. The library will function as a center for adult literacy and computer skills, and will also serve 800 students between the ages of 12 to 18. Emin worked with the charity organization in order to build the library.
For two days in December, Los Angeles residents were blessed with some of the best public art I’ve seen in quite a while.
A billboard for Takahasi Murakami’s retrospective was bombed by legendary writers AUGER/REVOK.
LA weekly is now reporting that the missing work didn’t get censored, but was actually was picked up by Murakami himself for his KaiKai KiKi studio. Link to LA Weekly Article.
Roland Young is an often lauded and very well respected member of the design faculty of Pasadena’s Art Center College of Art and Design.
A few years ago a “You Tube” video made its way around to the younger faculty at the art schools across America. The clip was called “Roland is God” and showed (via hidden camera) a particularly brutal critique given by Young to a group of students at Art Center. Now the video (in expanded form) can be seen on a site called (surprisingly) “Roland is God.” It has been accompanied by the release of an all new “You Tube” video displaying Professor Young’s unorthodox critical stylings.
Get it while it’s hot.