On our first day in Orlando, we stopped into new artisan marketplace, Artegon, on the recommendation of my sister’s boyfriend’s sister. We met up with my sister and our friends, Mary and Lui, to explore the converted mall.
Well, it looks like they’re still working to fill the space with goods from a variety of local artists and makers, but there were a few things worth noting. Namely, the Franchise pop-up gallery and shop.
“WHEN I LOOK OUT THE WINDOW, I SEE STARBUCKS, BILLBOARDS, AND INSURANCE ADVERTISEMENTS.”
SKIP is an Orlando propaganda artist who works under the name, Franchise, for a number of his projects.
He describes the inspiration for his work in his interview with Artegon:
The way I see it, when Van Gogh looked out his window at the world he saw fields of sunflowers and open skies, so that’s what he painted. When I look out the window, I see Starbucks, billboards, and insurance advertisements. As an artist, I feel a responsibility to not just replicate what I see, but actually put myself and honesty into advertising through the works I create. You’ll see that everything has a little bit of a twist to it. It’s not my goal to be so up front that I’m telling people what to think. I like to keep everything colorful, fun, and light so that the viewer can form their own thoughts.
Though a few of his critiques are misinformed (he sells Catholic-style votives with a reference to Chik-Fil-A, for instance, when the people supporting Chik-Fil-A during their anti-homosexuality scandal were almost exclusively Evangelicals), I couldn’t help but nod my head at the cleverness of his larger pieces.
I almost walked away with a mug that riffed on the Starbucks logo (see first photo), but maybe that would have just been an admission of my willing participation in over-consumption? In any case, it was probably made in a sweatshop, so the pictures will have to suffice.