Art is a funny thing when you get down to it. An understanding of “art” is considered a quintessential part of being an enlightened individual, yet there’s no telling whether or not any of us are actually right in our assumptions.
For some of us, art is purely about technique; about capturing reality with the fewest number of shortcomings, mistakes, or interpretations.
But for others, art is about provocation and emotion, and this can go in several different directions. As of late, it seems that the most talked about of these sorts of artists have worked in the space of negative emotions such as fear and purposeful offensiveness, with Lil Nas X being just the latest to take a well-calculated step into controversy.
Now he’s paying the price, however.
Nike filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit Monday against the company that released a controversial customized version of its sneakers in collaboration with the rapper Lil Nas X.
The “Old Town Road” artist worked with MSCHF to release “Satan Shoes” on Monday. The sneakers are modified Nike Air Max 97s — decorated with a pentagram pendant and a reference to Luke 10:18, a Bible verse about Satan’s fall from heaven.
MSCHF, a company known for creating controversial and viral products, confirmed Sunday that the shoes contained a drop of human blood inside the sole, drawn from members of the MSCHF team.
All 666 pairs of the modified Nikes, priced at $1,018, sold out shortly after they went on sale Monday.
The shoes have been making the rounds in the media of late, thanks to their carefully-constructed sensationalism which is no doubt the product of a high level marketing gamble and not Lil Nas X’s worshipping of the prince of darkness.