“BOREDOM MAKES YOU DO CRAZY THINGS” cap, originally $19.99, now $10
The craziest things happen and then you find out about them years later. Like how Jenny Holzer has done artwork for the Dallas Cowboys.
Yes. Jenny Holzer—the conceptual artist whose work consists entirely of cryptic slogans—works for the Dallas Cowboys. The relationship started several years ago but I only learned about it through an article published yesterday by Hyperallergic.
When the Dallas Cowboys moved into its expensive new stadium, called AT&T Stadium, for the 2009-2010 season, the Cowboys’ owner put on display a lot of splashy and expensive artworks by some grade-A artistic talents, including Trenton Doyle Hancock, Teresita Fernández, and Mel Bochner. One of the artists in the group was Jenny Holzer; she had adapted her Truisms series for the stadium’s massive new video screen, reputedly the fourth-largest in the world.
Jenny Holzer, “For Cowboys” (2012). Photo: Jean-Sébastien Stehli
Some site-specific art in a big football stadium is one thing, but having your work be available for sale as officially licensed Dallas Cowboys merchandise at the Dallas Cowboys online store is quite another. The Holzer items consist of four shirts and two caps, but there may have been others. A search on Google Images turned up a “RAISE BOYS AND GIRLS THE SAME WAY” model that appears to be out of stock.
Since the 1980s, Holzer has been one of the more successful cross-over successes in terms of authentically confrontational art (whose work is also cool and reserved as fuck). Her canny deployment of koan-like, or if you prefer, fortune-cookie-ish messages in public settings, often scrolling LED displays or T-shirts, has a way of bringing uncompromisingly leftist ideas (insofar as there’s an agenda at all) into the everyday lives of Americans. For her part, as an artist probably should, Holzer rejects the label of feminist, but her work speaks for itself—especially when the work is saying things like “MOTHERS SHOULDN’T MAKE TOO MANY SACRIFICES” or “RAISE BOYS AND GIRLS THE SAME WAY,” the latter of which, interestingly, was one of the slogans she chose for her Cowboys clothing.
Holzer’s Cowboys apparel is decidedly more confrontational and provocative than Mel Bochner’s over-eager “Win!” shirts, also available in the Cowboys’ online store.
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s pretty badass. If you’re an artist and you can choose between putting art in MoMA and putting art in the sightlines of regular sports fans who don’t give art much or any thought, it can’t be close, to a true provocateur.
“A POSITIVE ATTITUDE MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD” T-shirt, originally $24.99, now $15
“PUSH YOURSELF TO THE LIMIT AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE” T-shirt, originally $27.99, now $15
“EXPIRING FOR LOVE IS BEAUTIFUL BUT STUPID” T-shirt, originally $24.99, now $10
“A SENSE OF TIMING IS THE MARK OF GENIUS” T-shirt, originally $27.99, now $15
“WORDS TEND TO BE INADEQUATE” cap, originally $19.99, now $10
via Internet Magic.
Posted by Martin Schneider |
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