Evangelism, 2014, iPhone 5 Cases
'A use of the commodity arises that is sufficient unto itself; what this means for the consumer is an outpouring of religious zeal in honour of the commodity's sovereign freedom.'1
- Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle, page 43
The commercialisation of the art world is an unescapable phenomena in the contemporary era. The ever-present gallery gift shops sell reproductions of artwork, printed on everything from standardised postcards to bespoke cushions. Well known artists such as Damien Hirst, have a range of 'art products' which they promote. It often appears as though commodified reproductions are the primary means of experiencing historical artworks. Past paintings and sculptures are recuperated into the 'Culture Industries' in an ubiquitous drive to make money, following the capitalist model.With this circumstance constituting the contextual environment, how should contemporary artists respond?
Evangelism is an artwork which allows me, as an artist, to take control of my own recuperation. By printing one of my own paintings onto an accessory for an iPhone (a product so obviously critiqued by the painting itself) the irony of the commercialisation of art is made evident. The spiritual foundation of painting, manifest in the subject matter, is fulfilled through a commodification. The viewer/consumer is a granted the freedom to fully engage with the artwork through the act of purchasing and therefore owning. A pseudo-spiritual association can be formed in the paradoxical connection of Raphael's painting, my own painting and the culmination of the process as a commodity. The distribution of my own art product is a form of quasi-evangelism.
The Evangelism iPhone cases are available to purchase. Please contact me for details.
1.Debord, G. (1994). The society of the spectacle. 1st ed. New York: Zone Books.