The graff pic tweeted by @therealkidult and the Marc Jacobs tee via @MarcJacobsIntl (via Twitter)

You have to wonder if something is edgy anymore if a fashion label can quickly flip the “transgression” into merchandise within a few days.

Early last week, graffiti writer Kidult expressed himself on the front of the Marc Jacobs shop in downtown Manhattan and tweeted the image with a question:!/therealkidult/status/199904347675561987

The same week the clever people at Marc Jacobs took the lemons they were handed and turned it into lemonade — yes, they created a tshirt (which retails for $689) to document the “art” on the front of their store:!/MarcJacobsIntl/status/199988498638446593

While Kidult is obviously not happy, the people at Jacobs clearly came out on top … and strangely the tshirt fits perfectly into the brand’s taste for tongue-in-cheek self-criticality.

Btw, now another site has just gone meta with the whole thing and produced their own tshirt of the tshirt … and their version retails for only $35.

Kidult’s Twitter page proclaims that the “Revolution will not be Televised” but it does appear to be prone to merchandising.

h/t Henry Chalian

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

18 replies on “Graffiti Writer Gets Pwnd by Marc Jacobs”

      1.  nope and i don’t suspect that anyone from either side would ever admit to paying / planning either – just seems so awfully convenient and well played by everyone except for kidult.

          1.  mmmmn – who knows – i think that if it was planned out in advance by marc / kidult they probably didn’t tell him the whole plan – it was just here’s some cash, come by the store tonight and do your thing, make sure it reads ART

          2. Kidult just posted his own shirt of a photo of him actually painting the piece in white and a similar pink to the marc shirt. maybe it is to prove they are not in cahoots.

  1. If we are to suppose that Kidult and Marc Jacobs colluded in making what now—by appropriation—is the end product (the t-shirt), then the artist’s intent is obviously the same as March Jacobs; which can be chalked up to clever marketing for profit.  However, if this is not the case, then there are a few serious problems that we—especially in the context of post-modernism—have to reconcile with.  One being the difficulty in discerning the primary meaning of art in an age that simultaneously defines art with wide-open ambiguity and relativity, while also possessing an unprecedented level of advertising and marketing.  With both of these conditions present, both the artist and the viewer will be inhibited in their art-making and/or art-experiencing practices: everything comes to suit the needs of whoever owns the most capital.  Notice that what was discussed predominantly was the t-shirt, and now—even if we wish to discuss Kidult—it is a permanent context for the possible art work.  

  2. I think that whole sequence of events is pretty hilarious, and pure art all around… thanks for sharing this! No offense to Liz, but I seriously doubt that either side looks at the situation with such lack of humor, nor through such academic glasses.

  3. anyone that would pay that kind of money for a freakin tshirt, is INSANE and should be removed immediately of the rest of their money so it doesn’t go to crap like this.

  4. Irony and humor are definitely present, and my statement is not dismissing that.  Rather, I just posed a question to be considered.  Irony can only go on for so long

  5. > Available now for $689. Signed by the artist, $680.

    Ouch, that’s gotta leave a mark (or marc).

  6. Thanks Hrag for sharing but as HYPERALLERGIC grows I’ve soured to such grand standing. Both Kidult and MJ are using each other, knowingly. Planned or not. Look at your own financial sponsors. Do you know their motives? Take for example Artist Wanted. Their terms alone — — should raise a red flag. HYPERALLERGIC has to make a living so I understand ad revenue but art and money do funny things to each other.

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