• January 7, 2004
  • Posted by Marc

Bill McMullen’s “Attack of the Shelltoe AD-ATs”

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From the href="http://www.spanofsunset.com/ad-at/ad-at.html">Span of Sunset site:
Bill McMullen’s “Attack of the Shelltoe AD-ATs” painting is one of the
smartest pieces of art to come out in the new millennium. Playing off of both
the Empire Strikes Back and shoe-collector mythos and framing it with a
letterboxed border, the piece does more than just look rad. By placing ominous
big business (Adidas) into ominous pop culture (Star Wars), it goes beyond the
mere rip off graphics of early 90s skateboard decks and Fresh Jive t-shirts.
While those attempted to say “Fuck You” and “We’re so cool” via their co-
optation and modification of corporate identity, Mr. McMullen’s work attempts,
and succeeds by tearing into the shady worlds of corporate sponsorship, cinema,
and cool, without getting all indignant or corny. Unlike a Winston Smith (Dead
Kennedy’s collage artist) who would emphasize the scariness of the corporate
scene, Mr. McMullen shows us just how enticing it is. How our trained love of
logos and powerful imagery affects our attitudes, right down to our own personal
definitions of what rad is: a branding of personal identity through corporate
identity. Scary? Yes. Obvious? Yes. But most importantly: Mr. McMullen is

We asked href="http://www.swishnyc.com">Bill how inspiration struck and he replied,
“The toy is based on an illustration I did several years ago and was just a bug-
out that I can’t really explain.” Hey, that’s good enough for us—this ish is

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1000pc limited vinyl for $75
Available online
at Span of Sunset and in the brick-and-mortar shop:
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