The Splasher IS American Apparel?
the paste was still wet
Imnotsayin was this close to nabbing the Splasher in mid-pasting tonight: we shot these pics of his latest work on North 6th in Williamsburg while the paste was still wet. Or were we?
Even at first glance, the latest batch of posters is strange:
• The new posters appear paint-splashed. The Splasher splashes others' art, and posts clean manifesto posters alongside. It doesn't make sense for him to splash his own work.
• On closer inspection, the splashes are part of the print. In fact, the posters are identical color copies or color prints; most likely from a digital photo of a real Splasher posting. The entire print has a pinkish cast and all the postings have identical "paint splashes", integral to the print.
• The dead giveaway: all the new posters have an American Apparel snipe - a black band that overlays everything, including the fake paint splash. The snipe says "Try This!" alongside what appears to be an actual American Apparel advertising still - logo and all. The photo itself is "splashed" with an exact (tiny) version of the large "paint splash".
Here's our theory:
American Apparel IS the Splasher. Their clever marketing department cooked up the original Manifesto and began posting it and splashing prominent Faile, Obey, Banksy, etc works in key AA neighborhoods - the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, knowing it would spark a controversy among hipsters and artists.
Much to American Apparel's delight, prominent NY news outlets including New York Magazine and the NY Times picked up the story. The Times has run two stories, including a huge splash (sorry) on the front of Thursday's Metro section.
Delighted by the unexpected press, American Apparel decides to cash out, hiring a local street artist to paste up the mashed-up ads, and exposing itself as the culprit.
Naturally, they'll deny everything - after all, graffiti in all forms is still technically a crime, isn't it? But they'll reap plenty of publicity, and unlike the recent Aquateen/Mooninite debacle in Boston, pasteup graffiti isn't often mistaken for improvised explosive devices...
That, or the Splasher's gone corporate on us.
Either way, we'll get
More American Apparel / Splasher Love [Flickr]
Previously on imnotsayin:
Paint Job Failes to Curb Street Art: Take That to the Banksy
Williamsburg Graffiti War Rages On; Dadaist Manifesto as Rationale for Destruction