Scrolling through Gordon Holden’s website it’s hard to tell what is art, what is product, and what is just a big joke. But the California based artist isn’t trying to choose one path, his irreverent, pop art products are consumable and never take themselves too seriously. His installation of bizarro humanoid trees at PULSE art fair showed off his branded motto, Consume Cool written in the style of the Coca-Cola logo, perfectly. We spoke to Holden about his art products, the best things he saw while in Miami, and just why the shock value of the Art Basel experience has started to wear off.
What’s the concept behind Consume Cool? Do you think of your art as a brand?
Yes completely; we live in a world of branding and the challenge is no longer informing, but using/responding to taste. Everyone knows what Coca Cola is. And it is as natural as a house plant.
The line between the product and art seems to be blurred in your work. Do you think of the products you sell via your shop, such as a gold dustbuster, or a one hundred dollar bill for $100 or a tee shirt, all as art, or is all the art a product?
Everything is a product, and brands are aiming to make products that are practical in order to make our lives more convenient than they already are. Art in today’s world is to question that convenience. So in a way my work is art as product.
What are some of your favorite and least favorite things about going to Miami for Art Basel?
Definitely: the Cuban sandwiches, going on yachts, the VIP parties and seeing all the internet art people IRL are my favorite things, the blisters on my feet from walking so much are my least favorite things. Although I did get 2 pairs of $1 socks at CVS that are making my experience more enjoyable. I also like swimming in the ocean.
Is there anything you’ve seen here that has shocked you?
Not so much shocked; the first time I came to Miami for Art Basel I wanted to be shocked, and I was. This time around, the shock value has somewhat faded, but the art and people that converge on Miami for Art Basel still bring the excitement.
What’s next beyond the Miami madness, what are you working on?
I’m working on a Consume Cool camera app that I will be releasing in winter 2016; I’m also releasing another Consume Cool project that includes exclusive products and colorways for museum shops.