Oct 29, 2008

America the Gift Shop

Phillip Toledano worked in advertising as a creative director for a decade before shifting gears to become a photographer. While doing some plum editorial jobs for the NY Times, Vanity Fair and New York Magazine, the Londoner also wracked up impressive work for his ad portfolio, culminating in an Absolut vodka shoot.

Now, he makes art meant to induce squirming as much as reflecting on truths we try to ignore-- or maybe a combination of both. One of his latest ventures in that mode is called America The Gift Shop, an installation project that transforms US foreign policy from the past eight years into ostensibly buyable objects. In an America on the brink of becoming a total consumer environment (if it hasn't reached that point already,) his pieces can be as unsettling as they are on target.

Abu Ghraib coffee table
, Phillip Toledano
Molded resin, plexiglass, 6', 2008