Shirts & Destroy declares itself an ‘International Art and Music Collective’, and the collaborative manner in which it operates does that title justice. Bringing international independent artists together in an effort to facilitate promotion and partnership, their website offers an array of products for the public to browse and buy. The supply includes clothes, accessories, and items like skateboard decks and issues of Night Watch, the cohesive zine of the Shirts & Destroy community. The D.I.Y psyche runs in the gigabyte blood of this online platform for underground artists, acting as a propellor in a world that isn’t always kind to them.
What I appreciate most about Shirts & Destroy is the support with which it provides the artists and establishments that make up its ranks. It enables them to link up with the masses and each other, fostering connections with potential buyers as well as potential creative partners. They are able to not only earn money, but become familiar with online marketing and promotion, and prove that creating art is a legitimate way towards bettering society and cultivating self- sufficiency. Work is displayed and sold in various forms across the site, appealing to both the art enthusiast and the individual who is not swayed by canvas or gallery shows, but prefers a wearable masterpiece. The Shirts & Destroy system makes art relevant to everyone, walking the path of entrepreneurship in a way that is neither pretentious nor exclusive. It is projects like this that bring us closer to driving the term “starving artist” to extinction, and destroying the stigma and doubt associated with a label of that nature.
The products at Shirts & Destroy are physical representations of the artist and their creation process, as opposed to the mall bait that feeds mass consumerism. The site features individual artist bios which catalogue the materials they use and the interests that make them who they are. This way, whatever you buy, you have a mental image of the artist as a creator, a laborer, and a person. The price tags are pleasing to the plebeian eye, bringing us affordable, uncensored, and original artwork. There are painters, illustrators, and designers, all with distinct pieces to share and sell. Tattoo art is rightfully represented too, with collections from gifted individual artists as well as from entire shops, including but definitely not limited to Saved Tattoo, NY Adorned, and Greenpoint Tattoo Company. Shirts & Destroy has managed to build an international community of buyers and sellers without compromising the do-it-yourself values that keep art raw. To check out accessories, clothing, and other cool stuff, and to discover and support underground artists, visit www.shirtsanddestroy.com.