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Board to Death


While we weren’t looking, the painted skateboard seems to have become an artistic rite of passage.

Take, for example, these three boards commissioned by Supreme from Takashi Murakami, showing this weekend at New York’s Surf/Skate alongside Damien Hirst in the prime of his spray-paint period and Jeff Koons in full blow-up monkey face mode. And, most importantly, it’s all plastered on the bottoms of otherwise rideable boards.

Of course, they’re too valuable and too easily scratchable for anyone to actually ride them, and the countercultural cred involved isn’t what it was 20 years ago…but we’re still impressed Supreme managed to pull it off. We believe this qualifies as outside the box.

Wake Up, Mr. West


The Glossy Life is Practiced Everywhere: Apparently Kate Moss’s latest contract currently dictates she can only be photographed in repose. [Red Carpet]

Paranoid: Kanye unleashes his latest all-caps stream of consciousness. The money quote: “I JUST WANNA BE A DOPER PERSON WHICH STARTS WITH ME NOT ALWAYS TELLING PEOPLE HOW DOPE I THINK I AM.” Life lessons, people. [Gawker]

The Skulls: Damien Hirst’s first album cover looks about like you’d think. [High Snobiety]

Notes from the Underground: Dubai is much, much, much worse than we thought. [The Independent]

A Billi


With Damien Hirst testing the limits of just how conspicuous art consumption can get, it was only a matter of time before we stopped messing around with jewelry and went straight to cold, hard cash.

This installation piece from Art Marcovici stacks 10 million $100 bills on pallets in the middle of a gallery. Aptly titled “One Billion Dollars,” it’s supposed to incite your capitalist urges, but it just makes us wish we had a more colorful currency. Maybe Marcovici should think about One Billion Euros as a follow-up.

Socks, Vests, and Fish Forks


Stuart Little: In this case, it’s Paul Stuart, but we will go to any store that devotes this much space to socks. [NYTimes]

Big Pharma: We still don’t like Damien Hirst. [HintBlog]

Engineering!: A chat with Engineered Garments’ Daiki Suzuki reveals a healthy obsession with flannel vests. [TimeOutNY]

The Ruling Party: Esquire’s rules for dinner party guests will not tell you which one is the fish fork. [Esquire]

Johnny Cash, A Few Little Pieces, and Ebeneezer Hirst


Being Johnny Cash: A user’s guide to dressing like Johnny Cash. [AskMen]

It’s a Shame About Wray: Esquire celebrates the polyvocal John Wray. Apparently he does a great Howard Cosell. [Esquire]

From Whence it Came: James Frey interns at Gawker, basically just to mess with them. [Gawker]

The Hirst who Stole Christmas: Together with this, he’s probably due to be visited by ghosts by now. Bah, humbug! [Hint]

Ball of Flowers


There are many theories on the correct way to dress for an art show party, but Takashi Murakami clearly subscribes to the “batshit crazy” school. Try to imagine Damien Hirst doing this, and you’ll know why we prefer Takashi.

This photo comes from the Art Basel show currently happening in Miami beach, so he doesn’t have all that much to lose. Nobody begrudges a crazy artist or two, and after taking a look at their balance sheets, we bet a bit of cartoonish glee was just what they needed.

Motion Pictures


Our favorite bowtie-glad pop artist is expanding into yet another field. Not satisfied with fantastic gallery work and the occasional high-fashion collab, Takashi Murakami is getting his Pixar on. Or should we say, his Miyazaki.

His latest project is an animation and film studio dedicated to the characters he’s produced. The trailer for the first major animated film kaikai & kiki debuted at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary art this year, and he’s already gone as far as setting up office space. Apparently he has a bit more faith in the economy than Mr. Hirst.

See the trailer and a few of Murakami’s economic musings»

Say it Ain't So, Joe


It isn’t just banks and magazines shedding employees anymore: even our old pal Damien Hirst has gotten in on the game. Despite having a very good year on the auction circuit, Hirst is laying off 17 of his 22 studio-hands. As of the January 1, they'll be staring into the diamond-encrusted skull of unemployment.

All Hirst had to say for himself was the usual corporate mumbo jumbo about “efficiency cutbacks” and “not making those butterfly paintings anymore,” but we’re concerned. If Hirst’s not equipped to support an entourage anymore, we aren’t sure who is.

Perhaps some sort of a bailout is in order.

Get the Impression


Things are getting a little grim in the art world lately, with more than a third of the lots going unsold at Sotheby’s impressionism auction this Monday. Apparently the folks that have $10 million to spend on impressionist paintings are investing it in gold bars or bulletproof jets instead. The only good news to come out of the auction was for Edvard Munch’s Vampire, which sold for three million more than expected.

We’ve always been financially savvy, so we’ve come to the following conclusion. The art market may be depressed, but the market for depressing art has never been better.

The Hirsts and Murakamis of the world had better take note: what the people want is paintings of people crying, preferably in black. By the time the year is out, the Met will be handing out Kleenex at every show.

Anyone want to go halfsies on Goya’s Saturn?

Worldwide Pants


We’re on record as cautious observers of Damien Hirst, but after this he might want to stick to embalmed predators.

Labeled as the Damien Hirst x Levi’s x Warhol Factory Collection, these paint-spun jeans are part of a line that should be hitting Barneys in not too many weeks, but to get these pants in particular you’ll have to find your way to one of the silent auctions Hirst is setting up. It’s a clever bit of art/fashion mashing, but as usual, the joke is on you.

They may look good on a wall, but don’t wear them outside.

The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


Celebrity brands are usually pretty dicey, but this one is just plain off-the-wall. Beloved Canadian Dan Aykroyd has emerged as the face of Crystal Skull Vodka, a line of spirits inspired by an obscure archaeological mystery. (It may sound familiar.) The vodka itself is fairly bizarre, the occult mumbo jumbo is surprisingly tangential, and Aykroyd comes off as either completely off his nut or brilliantly deadpan. We prefer our skulls with a little more glitz...but we'll settle for this.

You can actually buy the vodka (if you need a glass skull for your mantle), but just because it’s real doesn’t mean it’s not a joke. The Ghostbusters 3 timing may be too convenient for us to take all of this at face value, but we won’t complain too loudly.

Hoax or not, it’s the funniest thing Aykroyd has done in a very long time.

See the video»

More Biters


The art world’s a rough place, but apparently people are increasingly unwilling to call a fraud a fraud. Does this skull look familiar to anyone?

We weren’t thrilled about the crystal skull idea the first time around, but by the second…things are just getting out of hand. The designer, Swarovski’s Quinn Gregory, is just playing his angle, but the rest of the world should know better.

It’s time for some new jewel encrusted objects. And, as it happens, we’ve got a perfectly good coffee cup just laying around. Any takers?

Bond’s Coke, Robot Retailers, and Overpriced Sharks


Bond Sells Out: Product placement? In a James Bond movie? Say it isn’t so, James! [NotCot]

Robot Love: Uniqlo’s Wakamaru comes in peace. Inarticulate, impractical peace. In other words, our precious retail jobs are safe. [PSFK]

Swimming with Sharks: Our friend Damien has his share of haters too. For some reason, they tend to be Australian. [ArtInfo]

A Checkered Past: The proper way to wear checkered pants is elusive. [A Suitable Wardrobe]

Joe Knows

  • Jared Paul Stern


While some claim Sotheby's' upcoming Damien Hirst blowout—which is expected to bring in about $120 million—is merely an excuse to clear out a backlog of unsold work from Hirst's London gallery, the bad boy Brit artist insists it actually marks a major turning point in his colorful career.

Titled *Beautiful Inside My Head Forever* and timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the celebrated *Freeze* exhibition which launched his career, Hirst says the sale represents the last of his long-running series of formaldehyde works, spin, and spot paintings, which have become a bit too predictable.

“It's like my friend [late Clash frontman] Joe Strummer once told me about writing songs,” Hirst says. “If you can guess what the rhyme's gonna be in the next line, then it's shit and you've gotta change it.” We couldn't agree more; Hirst's work, turned out by his “factory,” Warhol-style, resembles nothing more then a broken, though very profitable, record at this point. Time for a new gimmick, old boy.