Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Luis Gispert

Luis Gispert, Coach Mark VIII, C-print, 2011
Luis Gispert, Coach Mark VII, 2011, C-print, 55" x 89"

Luis Gispert, Gucci Gloom, C-Print, 2011
Luis Gispert, Gucci Gloom, 2011, C-print, 55" x 70"

Luis Gispert, Sprouse Gouse, C-Print, 2011
Luis Gispert, Sprouse Gouse, 2011, C-print, 48" x 86"

Luis Gispert, Fendi Caprice, C-print, 2011
Luis Gispert, Fendi Caprice, 2011, C-print, 48" x 85", 2011

Luis Gispert, Burberry BMW, C-print, 2011
Luis Gispert, Burberry BMW, 2011, C-print, 55" x 89"

Begun as an anthropological investigation, Gispert sought out individuals in the United States collecting or crafting unique vehicles in their backyards or garages — individuals living out a fantasy through custom vehicles they had themselves created. Representing the most personalized aspects of their remodeling, the vehicles’ interiors were the project’s initial focus. The windshields afforded a frame for sublime landscape photographs Gispert had shot separately. Their union created a tense dialectic between the neoromantic landscapes and the vehicles’ contemporary urban aesthetics.

As he grazed the United States in search of these vehicles, Gispert discovered a subculture within a subculture. Another stratum emerged, embedded within the world of car enthusiasts customizing vehicle interiors with designer themes: a satellite world of designer imitations in service to those in need of color coordinated designer brand fabric and logos. A micro-economy consisting of dresses, shoes, and bedrooms designed and customized to personal taste and aesthetics. Women running underground counterfeit designer dress shops out of their garages. Men outfitting anything from Timberland boots and backpacks with designer accents to custom leather apparel. In a dizzying conflation of class, aspiration, and travesty, these anonymous creators appeared to relish the bastardization of cultural symbols of wealth. Gispert proceeded to document what could be understood as a covert, aggressive appropriation and re-contextualization of luxury signs. To mediate the political and complicated nature of the subjects, Gispert chose to formally consider and highly stylize the images.

Gispert’s subjects are end products of a cultural history. The counterfeit designer reinterpretations of automobiles, furniture and custom garments began in Harlem, New York City in the early 1980s. At the height of the cocaine and crack epidemic, drug dealers arrived at innovative ways to conspicuously display their wealth. It started with the purchasing of Veblen goods that at the time were predominately consumed by solely a leisure class. Luxury signs associated with the upper classes were for the first time publicly appropriated and hybridized by a new class of narco-wealth. Drug dealers had their cars and clothes custom made with designer patterns, logos and colors. Ground zero for this customization was Harlem’s Dapper Dan boutique where drug dealers were the main clientele. Eventually hip hop stars and athletes like Mike Tyson adopted the style and became regular Dapper Dan customers. These high profile individuals spread the desire for luxury brands to a broader public. This in turn exacerbated class-consciousness amongst lower classes, which fed a hunger for designer goods. This appetite led to the creation of a designer counterfeit industry which thrives today.

Images and text found here



Dancing Branflake said...

As per usual, your labels are ridiculously funny.

So tacky.

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Wow...these are some rather...not so subtle pimped out rides. LOL!

I'm not surprised drug dealers and rappers were the main clientele!

So this is the man we have to thank for all those tasteless designer knock off bags sold on the street?!

Claire Kiefer said...

Interesting. I'd never heard the word "narco-wealth" before. Curious exploration/inquiry into today's hyper blinged-out trends. Makes me really sad to see this kind of thing . . . people going bananas over labels. And frankly, that's how I felt about yesterday's Missoni for Target craze. GEEEEEEEZ, people. How many of you would have beelined for the same shit if it weren't labeled Missoni?

Alina said...

The Burberry BMW, AWESOME!!! I wonder if I could do that to my Pontiac.

Trissta said...

Oh lord.... This is just crazy... You know that I love the luxury of these brands, but really? I LOATHE people who name drop. ;) And no, it's not really necessary. If you just dressed nicely you wouldn't have to worry about displaying as many designer names as possible. Send me all the lush fabrics, if all they want is the name.

Much Love,

Lorena said...

Hmmmm. Not for me.
SO, tell us about your second date :)

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Hideous- I would had to have my lipgloss melt on those seats-

Chessa! said...

yeah these are crazy. crazy but awesome...

Kaylovesvintage said...

this is so cool
I don''t have a car, guess I should get one

Kitty Stampede said...

While I don't give a shitey shite about brandnames, i love the look of cushy interior!! These are very cool pics.

Phoenix said...

I saw these and immediately was drawn to the outside of the car vs the inside of it (survival tactic, maybe?) I think the shots are cool because it's not just of the car... it's almost the car's point of view, which is fascinating to me.

I don't think I need a Pimpmobile like this but it's certainly an interesting approach to shooting them.