Dad to the Bone - This is my school dads quiz team name. Yes, I am a dad. We get a bad rap…dad jokes, dad dancing…it’s not really on, is it? Well at least if you’re a dad. If you’re not, you won’t give a shit…That is, until you become one…. And mums -don’t think that you have escaped the ignominy of impolite society. ‘Slummy’ mummy (no longer ‘yummy’…?), always reaching for the prosecco bottle every time you can’t complete an early years jigsaw with your child, despite it being mid-morning, and you’ve done this puzzle dozens of times before.
OK, let’s pause. It’s nearly Father’s Day (19th June in case you forgot!).… ‘Dad’ is a pejorative moniker. On Father’s Day by contrast, dads are AMAZING and we rightly shower them with pressies. Well, unfortunately I can’t, because sadly, my dad died recently, and he was amazing. So, as I can’t give him gifts anymore, I am offering up some top dad ‘gash’, or ‘merch’, to your dads, in the form of - always knowingly – ironic T-shirts, caps and other desirable apparel, as well as stunning limited edition wall art.
In both cases, when your dad receives the present, it will be a huge complement to him, because he will need to be a thinker. And because your dad IS…a thinker, you will go, “Ohh, dad will TOTALLY get that!” And he will be pleased that, rather than be underestimated - as we often are - his intelligence will be rewarded.
OK, so what is there to be so clever about? Well, you be the judge…The centrepiece of the [BEN talks] Ideas Worth Wearing range – see what I did there? – He’ll be a TED talks fan for sure…is the ‘ironic T-shirt’ definition T-shirt. He’ll know all about ironic T-shirts; it’s puns with A-levels, but also when you think something is going to be one thing and then it’s the opposite. One example of this is the ‘Brainstopping’ graphic T-shirt, which takes Rent’s (Ewan Macgregor) rant from Trainspotting, and gives it a Brexit twist. At first glance, it looks like ‘Trainspotting’ obvs, at second glance, it looks like, ‘I choose leave’, and then…well, visit my Redbubble site and have a look for yourself!
The reason this Ideas Worth Wearing range is in my Redbubble shop ‘Ben Cowan Art’ is that some of my (mostly!) ironic designs can find their ‘natural home’ not so much printed on paper, behind reflective glass on a wall…but rather worn as apparel, or as homeware, accessories, tech gear... For instance, the ‘Not Currently Recyclable’ design only works as a graphic T-shirt because only when it is put on, does this ubiquitous phrase on packaging, become about human composting. People like the idea of recycling, but are not so keen on the idea of being recycled themselves. So, this is a perfect gift for a dad who is still very active, and not yet ready for the compost bin!
Happy Father’s Day! Celebrate it with the man who played a very small part in bringing you into the world, but nevertheless he is AMAZING, and so you must get him something original from an independent artist. Besides, all the other things that he loves…books, CDs, stag dos… are obsolete now, so please give generously...
Never unknowingly ironic.
Ben Cowan, Art that makes you think.