Since Ronnie Fieg first founded Kith in 2010, the label has grown not just into a brand, but also into something of an empire. This makes it no surprise that Fieg, a known collaboration fiend, is now branching out into the art world with a little help from the artist Daniel Arsham. Kith’s flagship store in lower Manhattan now plays host to Arsham/Fieg Gallery, an exhibition space where, at the start of the month, the French illustrator and graphic designer Jean Jullien made his surprisingly tiny debut.
The work of Jullien’s you’re most likely to recognize dates back to darker times: the image of a peace sign featuring an Eiffel Tower that spread all over social media in the days following a series of deadly attacks across Paris in 2015. In general, though the artist keeps things notably upbeat, and carried right on doing so for his latest exhibition, “GIB.”
Still, things are slightly more complicated than they appear. Unless you caught sight of a comment on their Instagram last weekend that read “I came to see this yesterday expecting a whole 3 rooms. What I found was even better ???,” you’re likely in for a surprise. Ordinarily enough, about two weeks ago, the gallery began posting photos of the exhibition’s co-curators, Arsham and Fieg, taking in the landscape paintings that make up most of the show. As they carried on posting them, though, something stood out: a closer look proved that while Arsham and Fieg had made their way around the gallery, they’d somehow done so while maintaining the exact same position.
The explanation, it turns out, is buried deep in the gallery’s feed: the two figures pictured in each are actually miniature versions of Fieg and Arsham, complete with mini Kith hoodies and baseball hats, which only measure about a foot tall. (For those who’ve yet to put two and two together, “GIB” is, of course, a backwards spelling of “BIG.”)
While they seem to have remained unbothered in the gallery since this past summer—save for by the actual Arsham and Fieg, who seem to have really been having fun with them—this time around, they’ve got company in the gallery: Jullien has installed some miniature figures of his own, recognizable by his signature cartoonish style. Among those present are a security guard, an artist, and a curious spectator, all of which the life-sized curious spectators who stop by the gallery will have to admire from afar: according to the troublemakers running Arsham/Fieg’s Instagram, “You may be no more than 18″ tall to step foot inside this gallery. Viewers 18″ or taller may view the works from behind the stanchions.” Fortunately, if you’re in the latter camp, you can take a closer look via Instagram; see some of the best (and most deceiving) snapshots of the show, here.