// List

Scabby

// 2017

// Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York

// Product Design

// Get a Scabby here

 

A souvenir commemorating Scabby, the union protest rat, as an alternative symbol for New York. The prompt came from Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Souvenirs: New New York Icons exhibition. We chose Scabby as a symbol whose effects register both aesthetic—the figure is immediately recognizable and grotesque—and social—coded both as an image of labor conditions and their place within urban development and change. The city’s monuments are generally divided between the exceptional (the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building) and the everyday (the yellow cab, the manhole cover). Scabby, we imagined, sat squarely between the two types: a figure taking to the streets but unmistakably urban; a light that illuminates not just a desk or table, but the conditions that surround it and the environment(s) of its display.

 

//Photography by Michael Vahrenwald/Esto

// Diagram

//A symbol turned object

// End