Not every artist comes to prominence through the gallery system. There are street artists and Outsider artists whose work has become quite valuable and collectible. With the intense cross-pollination between art and the fashion world, it’s a bit of a surprise that we haven’t seen someone emerge from the fashion ecosystem as an ‘outsider’ artist.
Donald Robertson, who has bootstrapped himself through his fashion network and Instagram into something like a very high-end street artist (would that be a high-street artist?,) is taking a shot at it. His new book is getting lots of press, including this Women’s Wear Daily piece that explains just how the book came about with the help of legendary designer and art collector, Valentino Garavani:
“I was at Bergdorf’s, standing there painting on bags, and I was, like, ‘I want a book cover; I want a book [deal]. I’m just going to paint on the Valentino book.’ So I just started painting on the covers, put my name on it, but it said Valentino on the side, so I put the hashtag, ‘Kiss My Assouline.’ Totally without permission and I was selling them for about $2,800 on the shop floor.” A phone call from Assouline founder Prosper Assouline followed. “I thought he was going to tell me to stop but he said, ‘Dude, let’s do a book’ and I said, ‘Right on.’ Then, Valentino [Garavani] called me and said he wanted the book I painted on and I said sure, I’d give him the book, but I would need quotes for my book.”