That sublime point where art, politics and merch intersect.

What I Learned Today: Star Cigarettes, a division of Philip Morris, sold a limited edition pack in Europe in the early ’90s that celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall. Shown on the package is a piece of graffiti-covered slab being removed from the wall. It’s bubbly letters read STAR. An ad from the period shows a man’s hand clutching the commemorative pack.

Conceptual artist Martin Kippenberger used this image to create the wallpaper shown above in 1991. (It’s now on view at Luhring Augustine through 6/18). It is so many levels of conceptual: A cigarette company using a political act and someone’s tag to sell cigarettes which are then turned into art that is itself commodified. In other words: the art merch becomes the art. Like, whoa.

Find a bunch of Star Cigarettes special edition packs here. (Scroll to the bottom.)

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