A group of New York-based artists walked into Hercules’ Fancy Grocery in the West Village on May 20, 2011, armed with a briefcase full of cash, and bought every single item in the store. They have turned the everyday grocery items into “art” and are selling them at a huge markup on StoreBuyout.com as well as in their NYC gallery, Fusion Arts Museum. A video of their buyout of Hercules’ Fancy Grocery is climbing the YouTube charts today, but will it be enough to convince art connoisseurs to buy a pack of Marlboro cigarettes for $999 or an upside down can of coke for $400? Check out the video below and judge for yourself.
According to a press release, the artists involved in the project include Kyle MacDonald, who achieved legendary-hood for trading a red paperclip for a house; Hal Kirkland, who created the awesome ‘Hibi No Neiro’ music video that’s been viewed over 3.6 million times; Gary Lachance, co-founder of the Decentralized Dance Party (DDP); Jody Gnant, who is a singer/songwriter and also one of the people that Kyle traded with during his Red Paperclip project; and Matt Fidler aka Fiddy, who once travelled to 50 states in 50 days.
According to the press release, Hercules’ Fancy Grocery “was unanimously agreed upon after discovering Hercules was at risk of losing his store. If someone deserved a break, it was one of the West Village’s favorite personalities.” Over 3,000 items were purchased, although the total bill has not yet been reported. “The 3,000-plus items are now being repurposed as pop art and are available for purchase online and at the NYC gallery appropriately titled ‘Bodega Boutique, the art of convenience’.”
While the items for sale may seem overpriced to some, this is art and I’m sure that at least a few people will want to purchase items—a Bic lighter for $123.45, for instance. Hopefully sales from the exhibition will be enough to outweigh the cost of buying out Hercules’ Fancy Grocery—whatever the final tab was. Check out the video below and let us know what you think of this whole thing. Do you like the concept? Was it worth it for these five artists to buy out an entire NYC grocery?
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.