In Los Angeles, a city of Instagram backdrops, no photo is more desirable for the influencer set than one in front of the Paul Smith Pink Wall on Melrose. The Pepto-Bismol–hued wall has become its own landmark in this post-Instagram decade, to the point where a drive by at magic hour—as the sun is setting—hardly offers a view of it. There are that many bodies standing outside in the parking lot of the Paul Smith store taking selfies. It’s comical, to the point that actress-turned-Instagram-celebrity Busy Philipps has made a habit out of sharing mocking videos of it. As ironic as that is, nothing is more ironic than the fact that it was just vandalized and that act somehow made it even more Instagrammable.
This morning, September 12, images started rolling in on Instagram of the beloved backdrop tagged with the phrase “Go fuck ur selfie.” While no vandal has yet claimed the act to be their own, the graffiti is now filling up in photos under the building’s geotag. For as many photos of the defaced building that there are, there’s a growing number of photos of people still taking selfies in front of the wall.
Paul Smith, the designer of the brand, has yet to acknowledge the defaced wall. But that isn’t too surprising. Back when Fashionista did a deep dive on the wall, the designer and company declined to comment on the ubiquity of it. They also have yet to reveal how much of a driving force the wall actually is behind sales—Fashionista found that just 0.17 percent of people who have geotagged the wall follow the brand’s account. (Of course Instagram follows don’t translate directly to sales anyway.)
Still, the Paul Smith Pink Wall is being used by the brand as a marketing tool. This past pride, the company had it painted in a rainbow design and invited its followers to visit it throughout the month of June. With this latest renovation, though, it will be interesting to see how long it stays up before it’s painted over pink once again. In the meantime, it’s one more special-edition Instagram to collect—for better or worse.
The Most Instagram-able Art of 2017
Kusama’s retrospective kicked off its years-long world tour in Washington, D.C., meaning that the Hirshhorn Museum was the first institution visitors were allowed to cover in a seemingly endless supply of colorful dots, proving that the artist’s infinity rooms—which, only a few months later, now have a strict 30-second selfie time limit—are hardly the show’s only Instagram-friendly option.
This fall, the Philadelphia-based artist Alex Da Corte took his last stab at impersonating Eminem, the rapper he bears an uncanny likeness to when he bleaches his hair, at London’s Josh Lilley Gallery. This time around, there was both a larger-than-life Adidas sneaker as well as videos of Da Corte-as-Eminem smoking from homemade bongs with unsettling laughter and covering himself in mustard.
There’s the massive convention center of art that constitutes Art Basel Miami Beach, and then there’s stray art scattered throughout the city, like Suzy Kellems Dominik’s I Can Feel, a 12-foot installation and light show in the lobby of the Nautilus Hotel illustrating an endless loop of 27.68-second orgasms.
Along with the artist Awol Erizku’s photo of Beyoncé announcing her pregnancy came the Beyhive’s strongest showing of fan art ever as each fan clamored to show their creativity, with art historical references ranging from Michelangelo to Botticelli.
The Israeli security barrier in Bethlehem, in the West Bank doesn’t sound like the ideal place for a vacation, but more visitors are flocking than ever now that Banksy has set up his very own hotel, where a monkey bellhop announces that the establishment doubles as an art installation before you even step inside the door.
Though certainly a less obvious spectacle than a giant sphinx made of 40 tons of sugar, Kara Walker’s latest, an exhibition that’s essentially a tapestry of America’s unavoidably racial and often painful history, which the critic Jerry Saltz lauded as “the best art made about this country in this century.”
Just in time for the collectors, dealers, and artists arriving to the Venice Biennale, the sculptor Lorenzo Quinn made his mark on the city by adding a pair of enormous hands emerging from one of its canals as a reminder of the threat Venice faces from global warming.
This summer, MoMA PS1’s courtyard all the way out in Long Island City, Queens, became quite literally the coolest party destination when Jenny Sabin installed a mist-spraying canopy that lit up in rave-like colors at night.