Mad for Merch: Art Production Fund Rolls Out Yayoi Kusama and Ryan McGinley Towels


Headed to Art Basel in Miami Beach next month? Don’t forget to bring a towel. An Art Production Fund towel emblazoned with a design by Yayoi Kusama or Ryan McGinley, that is. After tapping John Baldessari and Cecily Brown for its 2013 artist towels, the New York non-profit has unveiled water-absorbing works by dot-master Kusama (below) — whose first solo show with David Zwirner opened on Friday — and the boy wonder of nudes-and-animals photography (above) to create its 2014 artists towels.


The new towels are not yet available to purchase through the APF online shop (trust us, we checked) because they will officially be unveiled during ABMB, where they will launch and be available for purchase at The Standard Spa on Miami Beach. Like previous artists towels, Kusama’s riotously colorful, spot-covered towel and McGinley’s more risqué work, with strategically placed tropical birds, will retail for $95. Each one measures 60 by 70 inches, and proceeds from sales help to support APF’s public art programs. Previous APF towel creators have included Barbara Kruger, Ed Ruscha, Yoko Ono, and Julian Schnabel.

“We are honored to work with these two highly acclaimed and multi-generational artists on our 2014 towel series,” APF co-founders Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen said in a statement. “Though McGinley and Kusama’s approach and aesthetic greatly differ, the towels encapsulate each artist’s practice.”

And in case you’re keeping score, these are the second and third artist-designed towels that will be unveiled during ABMB this year. Towels and flip-flops emblazoned with Tracey Emin neons will debut on December 4.

— Benjamin Sutton (@bhsutton)

(Images courtesy Art Production Fund.)