GERHARD RICHTER, 1024 Colours, 2015
ca 11 x 13 x 3 cm / 70 x 50 cm
pouch with polyester Tote bag, two attached labels
published by Loqi LLC, Saint Helena, USA
Descriptions of the term tote or tate for bags, meaning bags “to carry”, can be traced back to 1900. During the 1950s, tote bags began to enter into the main culture. Women primarily utilized them as practical handheld bags because they didn’t require much care.
Merchandising art can be considered as a form of commercial appropriation. Previously merchandise products like that were usually put on the market after the death of famous artists like Vincent van Gogh or Piet Mondriaan. Since Appropriation art came into fashion, nowadays living artists accept this spin-off income as almost part of the art they are making, I guess. It is striking that commodities like tote bags or mugs are offered for just a few years at venues like museums and then they disappear completely and become part of history.
Here a detail of a painting of Gerhard Richter called “1024 Farben” has been reproduced on a synthetic shopping bag apparently authorized or sanctioned by the artist as a product design by Loqi, a Limited Liability Company.