Afterwards, Simon asked me to do their 18th Street store. I think I started my commercial line around then too. We w e r e n ’t awa r e th at you ha d a comm e r c i a l line! W h at d i d yo u c r eate?
Do you remember those selfaffirmation refrigerator magnets that were kind of a craze in the ‘90s? Certa i n ly.
Well, I started that! My goal was to get people who normally wouldn’t look at art to look at art. It began as a small project in my studio, but I wanted to mass-produce them. I was lucky because one of my collectors was the owner of Bed Bath and Beyond. He was
interested in putting the magnets by their cash registers, so we did it. They become kind of a big hit. Eventually, stores like The Container Store and Target began to sell them. In my mind, I was making conceptual art work and people just thought they were buying this little tchotchke. Over the course of the years, I’d go to people’s apartments and I’d see my products. I was once at a party at this woman’s house and saw that she had one of my “I Love Me” mirrors on her refrigerator. I pointed it out and said, “Hey, I designed that!” To my surprise, she started to cry. She said, “[This magnet] really helped me lose weight! I put it on my fridge to remind myself daily that I
have to love myself. It helped me to get into the shape I am today.” W hat a story! Are you st ill designing produ cts?
Sure. I just did a product collaboration with a store in Japan called 23 Ku. I’m also selling my art through Jonathan Adler and a store in London called Atelier Abigail Ahern. On the side, I write screenplays. I like product design, but I always have a million projects going on. A man of many talen ts indeed!
Matchbook Magazine, September Issue