July 26, 2010
We’re very excited about the shiny new Art-O-Mat that arrived in the Luce Foundation Center this week. Now you can start your very own collection of American Art right here in the museum—becoming a collector has never been so convenient!
In the late 1990s, artist Clark Whittington took advantage of the recent ban on cigarette vending machines and re-purposed one to sell his cigarette-packet-sized photographs. The idea took off and Whittington now oversees 83 active Art-O-Mat machines, including our new addition to the Luce Foundation Center.
The machines are more art installations than they are vending machines, but each one is fully-functioning and sells original art for just $5. Our Art-O-Mat is a late 1950s National Consoline Vending machine that was discovered on the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee. Check out this Flickr set to see photos of this 60-year-old machine being transformed.
Over 400 artists from ten different countries currently participate in the Art-O-Mat project, contributing paintings, jewelry, prints, sculptures, collages, and mixed-media creations. Each work is the same size as a packet of cigarettes and comes wrapped in acetate. You see a small description of the content on the machine, but you don't know exactly what you will get until you make a choice and pull the handle. The mystery is half the fun! So, what are you waiting for? Come along to the Luce Foundation Center and start your collection today.
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