This One’s a Whopper!

Laura Price at Art in the Age sent us an outraged email today. Art in the Age-Rage! You must go read this excellent rant, and then come back here.

…Back? OK. If you didn’t actually go over there, the key point is that Burger King has established a faux-street artist apparel collaboration program called “Burger King Studio: Have it Your Way Tees.” AITA blogger Robin is upset about this. Outraged, even (but in a post-structuralist way):

I can now assert that Jean Baudrillard is spinning in his grave. Burger King killed the Philosophy Star? This is truly simulacra at its most perverse. A corporate project in screenprinter’s clothing has subsumed the original medium, both in practice and theory. I have as much interest in seeing an exhibition of Burger-raped artists or visiting a Disney World kiosk as I have in eating my own hand. It would be like attending a funeral for all of the values I truly believe still exist in the world… To the Burger-curated artists and the art director behind this project (probably not so unlike myself and people I know), I challenge you to take the high road. Take back your squeegees and brushes before it’s too late, and you’ve become what ate you.

Now, I’m sympathetic to the sentiment expressed here. But “Burger-raped artists” is a mental image I did not need, Robin!

Robin is too scrupulous to link to BK-Studio, but I am a corporatist pawn, so here’s the site. And here’s my opinion: no matter what they wear, or where they eat, the following people will never be cool:

wtf

…I mean, that guy’s belt doesn’t even fit!

On a more serious note, I don’t think I fully share in the outrage. Is there a substantial overlap between Art in the Age patrons and the bros who buy these BK shirts? Is Burger King actually going to “subsume an original medium”?

Generally, I find this kind of attempt at cred-appropriation to be hilariously misdirected. Interesting creative subcultures always make it to the mainstream. Corporate cash-ins always miss the mark by a wide margin. Really: who do they think they’re fooling? As for the artists who “sell out”… well, they have a right to hack their wares, and we have a right to snicker at them.

So am I under-reacting? Or should we just laugh at this? After all, we know when the King has no clothes.

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Categories: Critical Discourse, Current Events, Print-related


3 Responses to “This One’s a Whopper!”

  1. amze says:

    Where can I get one of those great burger shirts? So hip. so with it.

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