Katsu seems to be continuing and innovating on the project that he started last year with AVONE to promote a show: He is taking over phone booth advertisements with graffiti which is very obviously an advertisement. It’s not a new insight that graffiti is advertising, and this certainly isn’t the first advertising takeover by graffiti writer (Kaws, Barry McGee/Twist, Retna, Augor, and so others…), but I think there is something cool about these advertisements that I haven’t seen very often before: most of these advertising takeovers make it look like Katsu and the brand are working together. Now, of course, Kaws was famous for doing just this same thing. The difference with Katsu is that Kaws took actually advertisements and modified them while Katsu is concocting the entire ads in his studio. He’s associating his identity with cultural icons like Kurt Cobain and brands like Nike, but those brands and icons weren’t even advertising in these places to start with (at least not with these particular ads). It’s a great technique for getting noticed. I’ve similar things before, but I don’t think they were by as high-profile writers at Katsu, and, for better or worse, his name adds some legitimacy to the idea, which is kind of ironic given the idea. Plus these are better executed than any similar things I can remember, and that definitely counts too. Also, a bit of a surprise to me, Jordan Seiler likes these things. Anyway, enough of my rambling, here are more examples of these ads:
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Photos by Luna Park and Sabeth718