Fake Brands Become Art In “As Real As It Gets”

Around this time last year, Dunder Mifflin brand paper hit the market. Anyone with a Xerox machine to fill and an abiding interest in TV’s The Office had reason to rejoice. When someone who works in an office purchases a product that originated from a TV show that satirizes office life, they are not exactly being ironic. There’s no real term for what they’re doing exactly. It is just this sort of ambiguity that Rob Walker is exploring in his upcoming exhibition at Apexart in New York.

Rob Walker

“As Real As It Gets” is a show that looks at consumerism through the lens of fictional brands and products. Organized by New York Times Magazine contributing writer Rob Walker, the show features the work of artists, designers, writers, musicians, companies and at least one government entity. In seeing how we relate to hypothetical brands made real, the exhibit will help redefine our constant–and constantly evolving–relationship with actual brands, and our thirst for authenticity.

“As Real As It Gets” is on view in New York from November 16 – December 22. Have a look at some items from the exhibition in the slide show above.JB