Cooler than the pyramids
This is the coolest thing ever. It's cooler than the pyramids. Do you guys know what the Art-O-Mat is? They've taken old cigarette vending machines and instead of tossing them onto the landfill on Staten Island, they've re-purposed them to dispense tiny original works of art. It's ingenious! There's only one in New York City—at the Whitney—but my hotel in Las Vegas had FOUR of them. Each piece of art is only $5 measly bucks. Well worth it. I've spent more and have gotten a lot less in return.
Above each knob, where the cigarette brand logo was once displayed, is the name of the artist and a brief few-word description of the art. You really have no idea what you're getting. You feed a sawbuck into the machine and pull the knob out which, for an oldster like myself, is a thrilling trip down memory lane and presto! Your art is dispensed below.
Approximately 400 artists have been commissioned to create works of art that fit into small white boxes the same size as a pack of cigarettes.
Some artists decorate the outside of the boxes.
This box from Monica Wu contained an original linocut print of a flower wrapped in tissue paper. A linocut is what I used for the cover of my Thunder Road chapbook, so I was all over this one.
Alexandra Lee made a pin out of a Scrabble tile (the letter B on the verso) depicting a cityscape and also included a bonus paper crane.
This is Barcode Oprah Winfrey by Scott Blake. It's a flip book. It starts with Oprah's big, stupid face and as it gets closer, you see that it's made entirely of ISBN barcodes. The barcodes are taken from the books that have been recommended by Oprah's Book Club (the titles of which are listed on the verso pages.) $5 bucks, people! More barcode art here.
Art-O-Mat! Look for one near you.
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Me + a wizard