Art That Speaks to You, Even if It Says 'Scram!'

March 8, 2012 12:00 am

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Have any of the designers ever been the victim of a home invasion?

I've gotten a lot of stories about times they got mugged and were really scared and had to give up their wallets. It was weird, but it was cool. We were obviously hitting on something here.

I just read an article in which Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was quoted as saying crime in New York City is down by 80 percent.

This isn't about walking down the street and getting mugged. And it's not about literally getting invaded, but the idea of it. There are products here that aren't meant to hurt someone, but that give you the confidence to go down to the kitchen and make sure that's really just a pot that fell.

But some of these pieces could do serious damage.

We had some pieces submitted for the show that were too dangerous -- a squirt gun filled with hydrochloric acid. We can't handle the liability of having that, but if we just put water in it, it wouldn't be a true piece. So we pulled it from the show. But then we have guns made of felt.

I like the doormat that says, "The neighbors have better stuff."

That's "The Defense Mat," by Reed Wilson. If you saw this by someone's front door, it would be pretty funny. This is a great example of something that doesn't have to do with intruders. It's about class. It's different. I mean, it's an Ikea doormat.

What about the Prada sock with oranges in it?

It's by Chen Chen and Kai Williams. Apparently, in prison, they might put soap inside instead of oranges, and it's a way to beat someone up without leaving bruises.

It seems like this project brought out the dark side in designers who normally make gentle, beautiful things.

That's this show. They'd never normally make something like this, but you could hang many of these things on your wall as art. Some people went for humor and some went to a really dark place. 

The show runs from March 9 to 15 at Present Company, 29 Wythe Street (North 13th Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is open to the public through Saturday; from Sunday through the following Thursday, viewing is by appointment only. Information:

First Published 2012-03-07 23:07:05

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