We’ve covered some of Kidult‘s work here before, some of which we dig (like the “Suepreme” tshirt), and some others that just seem like publicity stunts. Where the latest effort sits is hard to tell. The French street artist has just launched NoGalleryNoMaster, a site that will enable him to sell his art directly to the masses without the
commission creativity choking confines of the traditional art gallery. This can be seen as just another example of the “anti-capitalist” artist commoditizing his art, or you could believe his stated ethos and think it’s just an inevitable method of funding his art. Impossible to tell which is the truth, although Kidult certainly is no stranger to commerce. The latest example of such is the EXSTINCTOR campaign, a creative effort that saw Kidult hide fire extinguisher-inspired sculptures across important global cities (e.g. Los Angeles, New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo). While those sculptures were given away free, this latest installment of the EXSTINCTOR campaign — dubbed the “Misery Edition” and expressed in a matte black finish — will indeed be sold starting this Friday, January 24, at his NoGalleryNoMaster site. From NoGalleryNoMaster, Kidult’s manifesto:
I will hijack their codes and aesthetics in a damaging and harmful way, just like they did with graffiti.
The “Exstinctor” propaganda project aims solely at destroying the notion of commodity.
Just like graffiti, my work is public, and not private. NoGalleryNoMaster was created so that we can choose and select how my work is sold and distributed, in accordance with very specific criteria.
We will refuse any sale or collaboration involving galleries, institutions or any other for-profit artistic entities, which enables me to keep unrestrained artistic vision, independence and freedom.
The notion of capitalism is absent from my work. Selling my art allows me to fund free art and global actions, it is a closed loop system.
So what do you think — clever gallery-circumventing tool of subversion, or just another way for Kidult to fleece the masses with “anti-capitalist” commodities? As Nas might say, It ain’t hard to tell…