<p>The internet threw up on your T-shirt. No, seriously.</p>
The brilliant thing about internet art is that it’s democratized. I mean, how many people have ever had the chance to spin Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel until it became an interactive website? (Thanks, Rafaël Rozendaal.) Conversely, while fashion can be annoyingly exclusive, nothing beats the rush of getting your sticky little hands on that coveted limited edition unicorn-rare design, like the latest Jacobs by Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs or some such nonsense (really people, Comme de Fuckdown).
Sterling Crispin‘s new curated T-shirt line, which launched this Monday, is taking the internet out of the machine and into our closets. But unlike the free-for-all accessibility of net art, the collection features six original designs (from some of the internet’s most esteemed artists), capped at just 10 pieces each.
“I wanted to provide a common platform for contemporary artists to experiment with, and make physical what would otherwise be a digital form,” said Crispin via Facebook last night. “It’s exciting to watch the ways digital art can be translated into physical forms and I think clothing is a fresh and fun take on limited edition prints. Designing clothes, or industrial objects, is something I think a lot of artists think about and I could see the need for this sort of platform for experimentation to exist.”
There’s technically no theme to this debut collection, though each shirt reflects a “post-internet sensibility.” Crispin says all the artists were given free range to create whatever they wanted. Rozendaal’s shirt, for example, was inspired by one of his websites, intotime.com.
Are they physically connected to the internet? Only by concept and style, says Crispin. “I think they act as hyperlinks in physical space to emerging concepts that artists are addressing on the internet.”
Here’s my critical take on this fascinating debut line….
Rafaël Rozendaal: “intotime.com”
Visit intotime.com and you’ll be washed over by an ever-changing gradient of color and saturation. Who wouldn’t want that aura to bathe their body? My only complaint is that it’s not a wearable animation… yet.
Ryder Ripps: “ode to glasspopcorn”
Under Armour is no longer performance gear for surfing the vast ocean of the internet (that’s so last season). It’s now the IT brand for emerging teenage rappers like Glasspopcorn. Monster energy drink + McDonald’s logo mashup? Surprisingly, it works.
Sterling Crispin: “morphogenesis”
Crispin’s “transparent” design looks to be inspired by one of his more seapunk-influenced videos with flourishes of backwards Google searches, accented by MS Paint graffiti. (Is that pink blob flipping us off?)
Tabor Robak: “Tetsuo Shirt”
You might think this is just a pile of meaningless hardware, but watch “Vatican Vibes” and you’ll be brought into the light.
Travis Egedy aka PICTUREPLANE: “Trance End”
There’s a lot going on here, from what looks like trompe l’oeil lace to cracked-out Google Chrome logos, Japanese anime, etc. etc…. Looks like a choice tee for a modern day “loadie,” sans the baggy pants, please (as if!).
Laura Brothers aka out4pizza: “space sport skin suit”
The only thing that would make this earth-tone cameo tee better would be if the design was lasered on to endangered python skin. Just sayin’.
You can find each individually printed and labeled shirt over at netstyl.es for $147 each.