It was inevitable.
On Tuesday morning, I first reported that the Marc Jacobs store on Mercer Street had been attacked by hot-pink graffiti. The tipster who sent the photos asked the workers cleaning up, "Is this an art show or marketing or vandalism?" The workers responded that someone had made a "joke."
Marc Jacobs twitter screenshot
Other blogs followed up and discovered that the work had been done by graffiti artist Kidult and that Jacobs was making the most of it by tweeting pics of the vandalism. On Twitter, Jacobs acolytes praised the image as "cool," "so cool," and "sweeet" [sic].
Now Jacobs has apparently come out with a t-shirt featuring the "attack," calling it "Art by Art Jacobs."
Reports High Snobiety, "It certainly looks a lot like Marc Jacobs, the brand, and Kidult have been working together in this marketing stunt. The t-shirt costs 689 USD and 680 USD, signed by the artist and is available in one size, only at the Marc Jacobs store on Mercer Street in New York."
That's $689. For a t-shirt.
from earlier this week
I'm not entirely convinced this started off as a marketing stunt, though it's certainly possible. My tipster was on the scene at 8:30 AM--why would Jacobs have four workers out there, first thing in the morning, furiously scrubbing off paint from the night before if they'd intended it to be there? Maybe the clean-up added authenticity, but they could have waited until at least 10:00, for maximum buzz, when most of the bloggers and tweeters were awake on the streets to capture this.
As for Kidult, he once stated in an interview: "At some point, all these shops have used graffiti culture as a commercial image, riding the trend without being a part in the least and for which the only point is to make some cash. All I say to them is 'hello'; if these brands really like graffiti, I only give them what they like, so what if it’s beautiful or ugly. We gotta stop these brands from dictating a culture that belongs to us." Has he had second thoughts?
High Snobiety posted the t-shirt, but no link to Marc Jacobs' site, and I have to wonder: Is the t-shirt real or yet another riff, another twisted loop in the Mobius strip of hyperreality?
Thanks to Alex in NYC for sending in the tip about the t-shirt--and this incredible, hyper self-referential hall of mirrors Marc Jacobs label, which also may or may not be real.
Marc Jacobs Attacked
More Jane, Less Marc
The Future is Marc