Friday, March 14, 2008

When silkscreening becomes consumerized

We talk a lot about how art works in the social sphere and how it changes when it becomes consumerized. These are images from the website:

Although commonly sold in specialty stores, these t-shirts are often considered to be art in the social space. I'm sure that there are those who would disagree, but it would be interesting to identify exactly when an artwork starts to lose its identity as it becomes more popular.

1 comment:

christa donner said...

It's also important to remember here that screenprinting *began* as a commercial medium and became something that artists used relatively recently, hence the term "serigraphy" used to set apart fine art screenprinting in the article we read early in the class.

These art-t-shirts are a great example of the interesting cycle from commercial culture to fine art medium back to commercial culture, referencing the larger context of visual art (rather than the limited spectrum of popular characters and brand logos) in their design.

It's also useful to consider the idea of editioning and multiples within the larger context of printmaking. Sometimes such shirts are produced in limited editions by artists known for their fine art/comics/illustration work (hell, I designed one myself to help raise funds for an independent magazine a few years ago)... so, do these exist differently than any other printed multiple for sale to a popular audience? It's an interesting question.