bjarne melgaard brings his psychedelic countryside pop-up to vfiles

"The trashiest and best store in NYC" is clearing out its stock to make way for Melgaard's hedonistic sculptures and site-specific pieces.

by i-D Staff and Hannah Ongley
16 March 2016, 4:45pm

Sammlung Friedrichshof Museum, Vienna

Anyone familiar with Bjarne Melgaard's outré installations would at least have known what not to expect from the pop-up the Norwegian artist opened in the remote Austrian countryside last year: the expected. The seductively wild, far-flung market overflowed with sweatsuits, accessories, and stuffed animals featuring salacious cut-outs and graphic prints. Designers including Miguel Adrover, ORFI, Bless, Vaquera, Eckhaus Latta, Ebecho Muslimova, and Jiraiya all created pieces for the launch — however none of them were actually sold. 

Bjarne Melgaard (Installation image), "Daddies Like You Don't Grow on Palm Trees," Sammlung Friedrichshof Museum, Vienna, 2015

Melgaard will be peddling to a more fitting client base when he brings "Daddies Like You Don't Grow On Palm Trees" to VFILES tomorrow night. "The trashiest and the best store in NYC" (in the words of the artist) should make the perfect home for the hedonistic sculptures, site-specific pieces, and nearly one thousand garments that VFILES will be clearing out its entire stock to make room for. Included will be the pop-up's cheeky magnum opus, the iconic "Light Bulb Man" that has been the subject of an ongoing dispute since a much-younger Melgaard misguidedly signed over the rights to the guy who funded his show. "Light Bulb Man" serves as inspiration for the holey garments that are "priced to move."

"The Light Bulb Man," Babak Radboy for Bjarne Melgaard (3d model by Jinmu Staddon)

"I wanted to really take back what that sculpture once meant for me," says the Bad Daddy himself — the 48-year-old's relationship with his much-younger boyfriend inspired the exhibition's title and amped up its sexually liberating vibe. "The point was to take the fear of this commercial aspect they had created and dematerialize it — to bring it to a whole other level of whoring myself." 

The collection was produced in collaboration with art director Babak Radboy and stylist Avena Gallagher. Swing by VFILES tomorrow for the launch, or any time before March 31. Just don't expect merch to move at a countryside pace. 

"The Light Bulb Man" capsule collection by Bjarne Melgaard, photo by David Oramas


Text Hannah Ongley

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