Tag Archives: The Art Guys

Selling of the Selling of the Brand – Old Idea, New Hollywood Treatment

Go see it! Buy the brands! But a nod of appreciation to The Art Guys for the suit idea would be nice.

Director Morgan Spurlock of The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Photo by Brandon Joseph Baker, Sundance Film Festival

Morgan Spurlock, director of Super Size Me and star of his own reality TV show 30 Days (cancelled?) unveiled his newest film, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, in which the star is, of course, Morgan Spurlock, but the brand is the brand is the brand.

Spur-locks onto the idea that corporate brands are everywhere, even finding their way into our favorite movies, so let’s make a movie about product placement in movies, and we’ll finance it with, you’re way ahead of me here, product placements.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’m inclined to agree with movie critic Brendan Walsh who observes:

“Eating nothing but McDonalds is bad for you; the U.S. government, with all it’s resources, hasn’t found terrorist boogeyman Osama Bin Laden; the prevalence of advertising in our daily lives has gotten out of hand:  File these in the “No Duh!” section of most of our collective brains.  If you arrived at these conclusions on your own, but could use an affirmation and maybe a little bit of evidence to support your arguments, then rejoice! Morgan Spurlock is back to affirm things you already knew!”

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Brand, Iconography and Culture. A Conversation with The Art Guys.

SUITS1“That’s an important methodology for us, to take a wrong-headed idea and take it to the Nth degree.”

My first encounter with The Art Guys was around 1998 as they were launching their SUITS project. Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing, aka The Art Guys, leased advertising space on business suits designed by Todd Oldham and wore them for a year throughout the United States, including a runway walk in Times Square. I’m a brand guy, not an art critic, but I immediately loved this mashup of art, hype and culture.

The New York Times called The Art Guys “a cross between Dada, David Letterman, John Cage and the Smothers Brothers.” Truly, they are outrageous, hilarious and unabashedly entrepreneurial, which reminds me of a few professors here at McCombs.

I re-encountered The Art Guys as I searched Glasstire in preparation for my interview with art journalist Rainey Knudson. Her journal on the Texas art world features a recent work entitled The Art Guys Marry a Plant. I immediately knew it was time to catch up with Galbreth and Massing. (I didn’t know at the time that Michael Galbreth and Rainey Knudson are married, which makes Galbreth a bigamist?)

Continue reading Brand, Iconography and Culture. A Conversation with The Art Guys.