Thursday, September 2, 2010

Details Guild

As we know from the Houston Wall, corporations love to get behind graffiti and street art. Now Conde Nast has launched the Details Guild. It's "dedicated to the support, development and promotion of the creative arts, and their connection with the greater community."

Here, "Details" means Details magazine--which features stories about Marc Jacobs' grooming regimen (he "uses no fewer than five skin-care products a day") and how to find "the best men's shoes in the world."



They've launched their gritty urban ad campaign in the Meatpacking District, just outside the Standard Hotel, on the side of the former Interstate Foods, the last big packing plant to shutter in the new MePa.

Interstate Foods was always interesting to walk by. There were often carcasses and hunks of meat hanging on hooks outside, or rotting in big garbage barrels. The sidewalk was slick with animal fat drippings. It stunk. And men would come out of the doorways in blood-stained aprons to have a smoke. Until recently, some rugged tabby cats were living in the basement.

But that has all been erased. This building is going to be demolished to make room for a controversial 10-story glass tower. Until then, it's the canvas for a street-art campaign conceived and funded by a corporation's fashion magazine.



"THE CITY IS OUR CANVAS" it says, printed so neatly as to be legible, adorned with accompanying tags from "Scaner" and "Joker 1." Are these actual graffiti artist tags? Or were they developed in a marketing meeting? See how the whole thing was painted by a guy in a black hoodie, and some other guys, in a time-lapse video on the Guild's site.

19 comments:

EV Grieve said...

"The city is our glossy magazine."

Don said...

Lived in the Meat Packing district for 12 years. More and more I think the only thing left to do is take off and nuke it from orbit.

ShatteredMonocle said...

Oh good lord. The wall looked cool before they painted it. And you have to love those overalls they're wearing. Gritty!

Kurt said...

'he "uses no fewer than five skin-care products a day"'

His skin must be disgusting!

I see corporate ads stenciled guerrilla-style on the sidewalk all the time now. I think we can give at least half the credit to New Bloomberg City government and its contract with Cemusa to cover "street furniture" with ads all over the city, turning it into a corporate canvas.

Caleo said...

All I can say is that it makes me feel like New York is deader than dead.
Literally every last shred of authenticity and grit has been swallowed, digested and regurgitated back out from the mouths of the corporate automatons into a stunningly soulless fabrication of reality.
If you want to see New York, go on Youtube and watch 80 blocks from Tiffany's.
You will see a real city overflowing with life and energy and menace and decay.
That film is priceless in that it captures a NYC in 1979, and will show you just how far this city has fallen into hyper renovated hell.

esquared said...

"the city is our billboard, catwalk, and our playground"

Anonymous said...

if you focus on "grit" you will never get the results you want. thats not the way to stop the development. i am sorry too to see the fish market gone the garment center almost gone the meat gone. i would not care if they refurbished the old buildings. thats better than another tower. but they got the permit!

Anonymous said...

Ha, so you're protecting "the city" from Conde Nast, I see. Implicitly then, you are saying that your vision for what the city is/should be trumps Conde Nast, who publishes The New Yorker and Vogue. Okay. Makes total sense, they are after all... a corporation!

Andrew said...

I saw this the other day and thought it was a bit odd. The old wall was so much better...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/theclubcreatures/4156734446/

plus who really names themself 'scaner'???

RSA Online said...

Well the city is our canvas but I'm pretty sure that is a marketing ploy :)

pwlsax said...

@caleo "You will see a real city overflowing with life and energy and menace and decay.
That film is priceless in that it captures a NYC in 1979, and will show you just how far this city has fallen into hyper renovated hell."

Menace and decay are nothing to celebrate. They're not "natural" just because they were homegrown or brought on by poverty. They're just another flavor of hell.

Look at films of NY in the 30s, 40s and 50s if you want the life and energy at its best. That goes for all you emo types who think there's anything "romantic" about danger and dirt.

Melanie said...

Missed you today--hope all is well.

Jeremiah Moss said...

thanks Melanie--enjoying a long weekend!

Caleo said...

PWLSAX- I'm not an "emo" type by any stretch of the imagination. And I wasn't " celebrating" menace and decay. But menace and decay were certainly a part of this city in the 70's through early 90's, and there have been other decades before that when those flavors were abundant. I am not celebrating blight when I acknowledge how that violence and intensity was the backdrop for a massive cultural explosion that gave birth to Punk, Hip Hop and dozens of other cultural experiments. No other modern city comes close to touching NYC in that regard, and menace and decay were definitely apart of it.
And now that the menace and decay is gone, so is much of the raw energy and vitality that defined NYC for so many years.
But I still love New York.

Anonymous said...

plysax- agree 100%. new york was @its height! he closing of the factories down south (60s) poor blacks coming up north, influx of poor from puerto rico, the building of the bronx expressway (60s) all this was the beginning of the decline.

City Of Strangers said...

Jeremiah,

Too funny. That's all I can say.

T.

pwlsax said...

@anon: "plysax- agree 100%. new york was @its height! he closing of the factories down south (60s) poor blacks coming up north, influx of poor from puerto rico, the building of the bronx expressway (60s) all this was the beginning of the decline."

Closing the factories *down south*? What about closing the factories *in NYC*?

You remind me a little too much of my uncle from Waterbury bitching about the "boogies" ruining the country. Not what I was getting at.

Eddie said...

Amusing that these "guerilla marketers" don't do a better job with making the graffiti more authentic. With your corporate coffers overflowing with money you can't hire better taggers?

A six-year old can spot how fake that is...

ed said...

Considering what the Details Guild is doing for under-privileged children who are interested in street art, I think it's a fair trade for the 'loss of grit'

==================
THE GIVE

sale of THE DETAILS GUILD’s limited editions benefit Free Arts NYC’s DETAILS Street Studio program.
FREE ARTS NYC — DETAILS STREET STUDIO

Free Arts NYC’s DETAILS Street Studio – launched in partnership with DETAILS magazine – provides under-served teens with exciting opportunities to shadow established artists as they create a piece of public art. Each session of Street Studio invites teens to participate in a workshop with different artists throughout the program series. Workshops include a visit to the site where the artwork will be installed, a meeting with the artist, as well as opportunities to learn about the technical aspects of producing a piece of public art and the artist’s creative process. Workshops may also offer teens opportunities to experiment with the artist’s process by creating their own unique artworks and to gain hands-on experience working as “artist assistants” to support the production and/or installation of an artwork.

Free Arts NYC provides under-served children and families with a unique combination of educational arts and mentoring programs that help them to foster the self-confidence and resiliency needed to realize their fullest potential.
====================

that said, i think the mural on the wall before it was painted over for blek le rat's mural was really cool. (thanks andrew)