SVA alumnus Justin Gignac (BFA 2002 Advertising) has been stirring up some debate recently over his NYC Garbage. For the past 10 years, the former advertising director has been collecting trash from the streets of New York, putting it in clear containers, and selling limited editions of the cubes for $50 each. Gignac says the idea came about when he made a bet with a friend that he could sell people garbage if he packaged it well enough.
“Sure. There’s something charmingly subversive about the whole thing,” said Michael H. Miller in The New York Observer. “It’s both a conceptual performance piece about proving people really will buy anything if you sell it well enough and it also makes us question the value of an art object itself. That said, there’s no way we would ever privilege garbage enough to spend money on it and put it on our mantle.”
Well, it looks like many people feel differently, said Jen Carlson at Gothamist. So far, Gignac has sold over 1,300 cubes to people in 29 countries. And perhaps what’s most surprising is that “many of the $50+ cubes have been sold to New Yorkers, who have access to authentic city garbage 24/7!”
Gignac knows what he’s doing, said Rusty Blazenhoff at Laughing Squid. He’s “no stranger to innovative ideas and was behind OfficeMax’s viral campaign, Elf Yourself before branching out on his own in 2007 with several entrepreneurial ventures with wife, Christine.” NYC Garbage is just one of his “fiendishly brilliant” projects.
To read an interview with Justin Gignac about NYC Garbage, visit Artinfo.