Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The Bradford Exchange

The Bradford Exchange is a website and catalogue company. They may have one or more physical outlets (possibly in Bradford?) but I doubt it: such a place would warp time and space around it to such a degree that one might enter it on tuesday and come out sometime in the upper mesozoic era on Mars. The Bradford Exchange claims to offer 'Innovation, artistry and design of enduring value', which is a lie worthy of the great tricksters of mythology. Their definition of the above phrase encompasses such wonderful gems as The Faithful Fuzzies Military Wall Clock ('Inspired by the Defenders of our Li’bear’ty Collection') The Elvis Presley Jailhouse Rock Musical Doll ('the cutest little jailbird you ever did see') and Adoring Eyes Westie Cradle Figurine ('Features a Swaronski crystal!'). Their entire catalogue is an assault on the senses comparable to seeing a Throbbing Gristle gig in a wheelie bin; not content with mere visual assaults, the Bradford Exchange wastes no opportunity to have their products play music or talk to you. The breadth is astonishing as well. Not content with one mere brand of kitsch, they do their best to bring everything to the table: Elvis Presley, Thomas Kinkade, maudlin militaria, So Truly Real dolls, Disney, native american kitsch that would make a single tear roll down the face of any noble chief, and on, and on, and on. Naturally, this felt like a ripe target for my photoshop, in lieu of being able to provide decent digital versions of my drawings and paintings at the moment.

This was my first stab:

Yes, yes, I know. Obvious you say. The more pertinent and wicked among you might suggest that a black metal version of The Bradford Exchange would, in fact, be Alchemy Gothic. This may very well be true, and offers up the interesting possibility that Luis Royo is the flipside of Thomas Kinkade, and that the two men might annihilate each other in a blast of pure energy if they were ever to touch. Also extremely obvious, though, I fear, worryingly close to the knuckle as regards the sensibilities that underly this website, was my second attempt:

I couldn't resist, however. This is a field rich for exploitation; though I am by no means the first to draw the connection, Kinkade (or Bob Ross) style images of the Wolfs Nest or the Nuremberg Rally, in the spirit perhaps of Ron English, might be something fun to do.

For my third, and unfortunately, final attempt (seriously, most of this stuff is beyond parody), I changed tack entirely from the tired formula of 'shove demons and nazis into it' that I so tediously exploit, and, I think, hit the jackpot. I present...TINY PONY KNIFE:

"At the far edge of the paddock, a tiny pony's soulful whinny cuts through the darkness. Its sound touches the souls of all who hear its mournful strains. Now, you can heed the call of the gymkana in a collectable tiny pony art replica knife with a faux bone handle that showcases powerful tiny pony portraiture by renowned wildlife artist Si Spew.
Witness the power and passion of the majestic tiny pony with this Si Spew tiny pony art replica knife, available only from The Bradford Exchange. This collectable replica knife has a custom-pierced blade crafted of fine artist's resin that bears sculptural low-relief tiny pony art. Makes thrilling wall decor or collectable tiny pony art gift. Very small demand is expected, and you won't want to miss out. Order now!"

Seriously, fuck wolves. Falabella's are where it's at. When I am a rich and famous artist, jet-setting with the rich and famous, I will have a tiny field, with a tiny stable, and a tiny tack room where I will store the tiny stirrups and tiny saddle and tiny reins and tiny bit and tiny halter and tiny bridle and tiny girth strap for my tiny pony, and I will hire a little person jockey to ride him around a tiny racetrack whilst I sit on my veranda in a pristine white suit drinking Laphroaig from the skull of St. Francis of Assisi.


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