Finding Art In A Common Retail Practice

There are a multitude of ways to resist modern corporate culture. One can turn the TV off, walk to work or live off the grid. If one is an artist, there are even more options.
Chris Held is an artist.

Today’s highly refined marketing machine appeals to our personal hopes, wants, needs, and dreams to effectively entice us to the point of purchase. Advertisers have found such success by making many of the same promises offered by religion. Love, happiness, acceptance, and comfort are now offered by corporate America and made available in a pill, wrapped in plastic, or with free shipping. Religious organizations have quickly taken cues from marketers and now spew their everlasting-life-guarantees over airwaves and across billboards.
In the installation, Overstock [jáce gáce, Portland OR, April 2008], Chris Held unites the messages of product marketing and religious practice by creating a monolithic shrine to the modern commodity.

The exhibit runs from Apr 4th – 25th, 2008.
image courtesy of
[via Rob Walker’s Murketing]



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.