In its nearly 25-year existence, American Apparel has collected plenty of headlines
for its often unorthodox marketing methods (including a recent provocative window display
in New York featuring "mannequins adorned with pubic hear" and wearing see-through lingerie). Now, a photographer is creating art from one of those practices.
You probably weren’t aware that the company likes to stick its ads in some of the most unsavory parts of the world. The sometimes over-the-top-sexual ads pop up on billboards in some the crummiest areas of Los Angeles, and photographer Thomas Alleman loves them—or at least he loves photographing them.
In fact, that he’s been documenting them since 2011, and the result is The American Apparel Project, which can be seen on his website
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So what’s the message here that the artist is trying to convey? In an interview with The Atlantic
, he offers this:
My mission is neither to validate nor vilify. And I hope that ambiguousness is in the pictures themselves. Which kind of throws some folks off: they search my images for some coded message or winking hint from me about whether I share their views about the content of those billboards so that they can feel comfortable "liking" my landscape pictures of those fashion pictures. It’s an interesting process to behold.
Check out some of Alleman’s photos for yourself and let us know what you think:
Images courtesy of Thomas Alleman.