Taking our fashion addiction to a whole new level—LA-based artist Desire Obtain Cherish’s brilliant “Designer Drugs” series recently caught our eye. The series of super-sized luxury pill sculptures stamped with the logos of Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint-Laurent delivers a message so blatantly relevant and spot on—it packs a razor sharp punch and leaves you wanting more.
Speaking volumes to our disposable culture, our need to get the latest fix—be it a Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent leather jacket, a fad diet, a more attractive lover—Desire Obtain Cherish (DOC) likens this obsession with designer labels to popping pills.
With many luxury brands hungry to cash in on the aspirations of these certain individuals, the result of increased mass manufactured and licensed out products makes this lifestyle dream now more attainable than ever. Can’t afford that Chanel purse—why not pick up a perfume or keychain instead.
The man behind the art is Jonathan Paul. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, highly educated in art theory, Paul contributes his understanding of real work and people to his time in the fashion advertising and publishing business.
Choosing instead to stay out of the spotlight, Paul has through the moniker of Desire Obtain Cherish, created a brand which blends the concerns and methods of street, pop, conceptual and appropriation art with popular culture to create his own unique satirical message. He explains: “I don’t want to be the focus… My work is commenting on society and art systems. It’s my role as an artist to maintain manufacturing habits…I’m not an activist. I just give you what you want.”
Designer Drugs is akin to the late Tobias Wong’s Gold Pills, which also speaks to our culture’s obsession with luxury and consumption. His 24K gold leaf capsules are meant to turn your innermost parts into chambers of wealth and transform shit into gold.
Continuing on the theme of pills, but from a different perspective is body architect Lucy McRae’s Swallowable Parfum. Developed in collaboration with Harvard biologist Sheref Mansy, the result is a cosmetic capsule which after ingestion, releases fragrant molecules thought the skins surface upon perspiration, emitting a biologically enhanced scent that is truly unique to each individual. The work is significant as it provokes and demonstrates the powerful possibilities of future cosmetics.
Faced with all these choices—how much can we really swallow?