I’ve got 4 spray-paint-can related items that I had been planning to ration out one at a time, but since they all seem to have evolved from the same set of cultural chromosomes, I’m now thinking that it would make more sense to look at them all in one fell swoop.
Just to remind ourselves that aerosol paint cans did not always signify renegade street art & graffiti, I give you a historical note about the father of the spray paint can, Edward Seymour. (pictured, above left)
In 1949, Edward Seymour added paint to existing aerosol can technology at his wife Bonnie’s suggestion. Initially designed to demonstrate his aluminum paint, the delivery system itself was instantly popular. Seymour of Sycamore, Inc. still produces aerosol spray paints to this day.
Wikipedia entry on aerosol paint cans
The thing about a spray paint container is that it’s not just a container. It’s also the tool used to apply the paint. And because of that, spray paint cans are natural candidates for being turned into fetish objects signifying graffiti. Like artists’ paint brushes—(see: Jasper Johns)—spray paint cans have taken on the cachet of an entire creative pursuit. Although with spray paint cans there is also a kind of cultural vandalism being embraced. Spray paint is, after all, a packaged product that must now be purchased from a special locked cabinet because its renegade customers may transgress the rules of private & public property.
1. Jake Rankin’s Spray Paint Lamps
Jake Rankin turns used spray paint cans into desk lamps, with the spray nozzle as a switch. Obviously appealing for fans of graffiti and/or fans of upcycling. (Not really sure how often those two demographic groups might overlap.)
I think these lamps have an interesting counterintuitive aspect. Both light and spray paint are thought of and depicted in similar ways—as a sort of expanding, but dissipating ray. Yet the lamp’s light does not emerge from the same place that the spray paint does. The light comes from a bulb in the base of the can rather than the nozzle. I know there are practical reasons for this, but formally and conceptually… I’m just saying.
(via the unconsumption blog)
(3 more aerosol paint can spin-offs, after the fold…)