The Art on the T-shirt - FAD Magazine

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The Art on the T-shirt

Jock Mooney: Rainbow Hair Cher

There’s a logic to putting art on a T-shirt: comparatively cheap, no need to find wall or floor space, avoids the business of installation (unless you count getting dressed) and allows you to show your collection out and about… I have a few examples which are fun to wear. Here are some which quite often get asked about: sometimes, I’m stopped in the street…

Adriano Costa

I have one of a wide range of T-shirts designed by the Brazilian artist Adrian Costa which wittily insert Ayahuasca into the typographic layout of famous consumer brands. I have to admit, though, that my experience of dimethyltryptamine, the chemical in the plants with which indigenous Amazonians make the famous psychoactive brew, is limited to the shirt.


Pedro Reyes

This, from the Lisson Gallery, has a motif which splits the generations: those for whom the telephone dial is a matter of nostalgia from those who only recall it from films or maybe even wonder what it is… The Mexican artist’s wife,   Carla Fernández, is a celebrated fashion designer, so he may have picked up some tips…

Emma Cousin

This arpeggio of interlocking figures was made for an exhibition I curated: ‘Ridiculous!’ at Elephant West in January 2020. They come from Emma Cousin’s site-specific wall pieces made in four locations as part of the ‘Survey’ show of upcoming artists the during 2018-19. Just what are the people doing, I tend to be asked, typically by those wondering whether it’s rude.  I reckon we’re surveying them surveying each other…


Jock Mooney

Jock Mooney does a huge range of T-shirts at www.helloVONK.com. They tend towards retro Americana in psychedelic colours and with a twist – as in ‘My Little Ciccone’, a combination of Madonna in her Gaultier kit c. 1990 with My Little Pony and the classical reference to a centaur. Or should I say a centauride – the female version of the human-horse, much less frequently encountered in Greek legend?


Raymond Pettibon

The most famous image, being the cover design for Sonic Youth’s 6th album, 1990’s ‘Goo’. Pettibon’s source was a photograph of two British mods, their cool counteracted – surely not enhanced – by a tale of parricide.  Almost all artists, I’ve found, like Sonic Youth.


Art writer and curator Paul Carey-Kent sees a lot of shows: we asked him to jot down whatever came into his head



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