The reputation and name recognition of a store might mean a lot when you’re contemplating a purchase. Challenging these commercialized signs are three artists you should know more about – Tom Sachs, Jonathan Paul (aka Desire Obtain Cherish), and Paddy Mergui.
Before most of us had ever entered a Hermes store, Tom Sachs was completing the “Hermes Value Meal” in 1997. Made from cardboard and thermal adhesives, he successfully commingles the packaging of our most basic articles of commerce with the values of our favorite luxury house. This was the first contemporary statement of the Hermes consumer culture.
These statements continue to arise today, most recently in pill form. Desire Obtain Cherish grabbed my attention by humorously producing life-sized designer drugs sealed in designer logos. What designer obsessed girl wouldn’t love these? His work insightfully expresses societies continuous need to align status and wealth with popular designer brands.
The latest exhibit to enter to scene is by artist Peddy Mergul, taking place in San Francisco at the Museum of Craft and Design now through June 15th. Peddy, who specialized in visual communication, is being challenged for “missing the mark” in her ‘wheat is wheat is wheat’ object installation. There she has consumers (us) viewing everyday objects in untypical packaging made replicate the look and essence of iconic brands. Does it really take a creative mind to make something that masses already like? The French luxury house Hermes does not sell salt and pepper packets, so why do it? At what point does slapping on a designer trademark insensitive us to seeing just another logo? Arguably, it leaves us asking questions with a slight giggle.
Photos: Tom Sachs, Desire Obtain Cherish, Peddy Mergul