I’ve been reading Juxtapoz for years. I feel they’ve been instrumental exposing “low brow” and “outsider” art to the world, long before it was widely accepted. I discovered some of my current favorite artists through the publication. Today however, I wasn’t thrilled with what I saw.
Posted on their Facebook today was a contest in association with Paul Frank industries. The contest is simple:
“Paul Frank is having a second Art Attack! Your mission is to create art in your unique style that incorporates the iconic Paul Frank characters.”
I understand that there will be a ton of people eager to submit work. Cash prizes are cash prizes. I take issue with the fact that Paul Frank (the artist) created these “iconic characters” and the company surrounding them but is no long involved with the brand at all. In 2005 Mr. Frank was fired from the company he founded by the partners he had taken on due to the massive growth of the brand. Once he was out of the company, the partners brought lawsuits against him to prevent him from using his own name in a design capacity and to keep the “iconic characters” for themselves.
The separation from “art” doesn’t end there. The company was then sold to a private investment firm (Saban Capital Group) and is now just a merchandising machine, as far removed from the creative man who started it all.
I understand the urge to follow the money but I expected more from Juxtapoz.
It trivializes art when it solely exists to generate income for people WELL outside of the artists that created it.
Just a rant. I’m also not linking to the Paul Frank BS, I don’t have much influence here in the Internets but I refuse to send them anyone.