Welcome to Otis Roundup, a brief overview of what’s going on in art and culture. This week, when we weren’t unilaterally declaring ourselves the head of Adidas, this is what we got into.
We’re excited to announce The Backstory, a new podcast from the Otis team that goes deep with some of the world’s most exciting creators, cultural figures, collectors, and artists about the items and objects that motivate them. Hosted by Sean Williams and Dan McQuade, The Backstory gives you an insider’s look at some of the most interesting people shaping our culture today.
For our first episode, Sean and Dan are joined by Chris Gibbs, owner and operator of Union Los Angeles, for a look at the work of artist Jayson Musson — whose provocative riffs on high and low culture touch everything from Coogi sweaters to YouTube performance art — and specifically his breakout zine Too Black for B.E.T. Listen here, or wherever you get podcasts.
The Reebok Pumps were a pop culture phenomenon even before they went on sale in November of 1989. They were famously and controversially expensive — $170 at launch, an outlandish figure that led to a moral panic in the nation’s newspapers. Reebok, until then previously best known for women’s aerobic footwear, even managed to briefly pull ahead of Nike in market share as a result. They are etched in basketball lore: Legendary dunker Dominique Wilkins — the future NBA Hall of Famer nicknamed “The Human Highlight Reel” — wore the Pump for his 1990 Slam Dunk Contest win. They had a controversial “banned” commercial. They inspired legions of knock-offs.
And they were a blip in the history of sneakers — an early 1990s fad. By the time POGs hit, Pumps were on the way out. Today a successor to the original shoe is the only Pump sneaker the company sells. How’d this happen? Head to Otis Magazine to find out.
• Chadwick Boseman will be honored on future Marvel comic book covers.
• All the blue-chip-art clichés inside Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.
• What is the Guggenheim going to do with the Art Basel banana?
• Watchmen’ just became the first comic-book adaptation to win an Emmy.
• Who has the right to repatriate looted art?
• The world’s first entirely virtual art museum is open for business.
• Comic artist Tom Reilly revisits the Silver Age X-Men.
• Banksy’s Monet interpretation Show Me the Monet (the one he first showed in a room full of live rats) is going up for auction next month; EU courts, meanwhile, ruled that Banksy cannot copyright a graffiti image.
• Travis Scott’s burgers are so popular they’re breaking the McDonald’s supply chain.
• The role of Jordan sneakers in a booming global market.
• Spot the KAWS and Murakami in J Balvin’s stunning Medellin home.
• The Union x AJ4 “Off Noir” has an official release date.
• Kehinde Wiley has been named to the Root 100 list of most influential African Americans.
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