Looking for some inspirational and/or terrifying new art to hang on your walls? Filmmaker and co-creator of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Dean Fleischer-Camp is launching a brand new project today called TOP Posters & Prints, which he calls a “series of slightly unsettling and hopefully funny art posters” that are all available to purchase in multiple sizes. I spoke with Fleischer-Camp last night right after his wife Jenny Slate took home a Critics’ Choice Award for her performance in Obvious Child to ask how the project came about.
I just saw that Jenny won an award for Obvious Child, so congratulations to both of you!
I just saw that, that’s so great! I’m fucking thrilled. It’s so crazy.
That movie is fantastic – the reward is well deserved.
She totally deserves it.
So let’s talk about your new project TOP Posters & Prints. I guess I’ll start with the obvious question – why?
[laughs] Well I was directing a pilot a while back, and I came across all these super plain posters in the wall art section of this prop house, and they were so funny to me because it just struck me as such a contradiction – set decoration generally is supposed to blend into the background and not pull focus from actors or whatever else is going on, but then a poster is like an advertisement, it’s supposed to grab your attention. So I thought it was such a funny contradiction, and I just wanted to play with that and make my own. Then, sort of in addition, it was a good excuse to experiment with stylized stuff that I’ve been doing like with Catherine and some other stuff that’s not online – some shorts that are very very aggressively generic. So this was just an excuse to fool around with that some more and do it in a different medium.
Is this your first project like this, where you’re selling items in an online store?
Yeah, it is. I mean, we have the Marcel the Shell books but it’s not really the same thing.
Do you plan to add more poster designs?
Yes, totally. I also think I’m going to start putting them in movies.
What would you say your mission statement is with TOP Posters & Prints?
I guess the point is that they don’t say anything. [laughs] So I hope that people find them funny and enjoyable and a little unsettling. …you guys get Bubblehead in New York, right?
I don’t think so. What’s Bubblehead?
Oh…you gotta google it. It wasn’t a direct inspiration or anything, but I have been fascinated with it for a while. It’s this thing that’s all over LA and they’re these really terribly ugly sort of ‘90s looking bad illustrations of this busty blonde girl with an astronaut helmet on, and they have a little logo that says “Bubblehead” that looks like a nucleus or something. So for the longest time I thought it was like a hair gel ad or some brand – LA is covered in brands and advertisements – so I thought it was just one of those, and they were so ugly so I was like “Oh, another one of these has gone up in my fucking neighborhood? I hate these things, they’re so ugly.” And none of them have any other information other than “Bubblehead.” So I finally looked up what it is, and it’s this millionaire’s attempt at being a street artist. And nobody knows that – you kind of just ignore it, but until you realize that it’s actually not an ad for hair gel and not an ad for a new cartoon or something…it drives me mad, because it’s everywhere and it’s got your attention, but it has nothing to tell you. Because you’re expecting it to be an ad, and when you find out it isn’t, it’s like someone rang your doorbell and then you opened the door and they just didn’t say anything – they’re just standing there blinking at you.
Check out the full collection of posters over at the TOP Posers & Prints website.