Popjects are populist (accessible) three-dimensional art objects. Popjects can be sculptures, toys, products and novelties, but all sculptures, toys, products and novelties are not popjects. More often than not, they are mass-produced, but popjects can also be one-offs or limited editions. The trademark of a successful popject is that its very existence is a commentary on pop culture and/or that its design references a current or retro trend. For example:
- Coffee beans and bars of soap are objects. Soaps shaped like coffee beans are popjects.
- The original Bic 4-color pen is a product. A hand-made homage to that pen is a popject.
- A hairdryer is a household appliance. A hairdryer shaped like Darth Vader’s helmet is a popject.
The only previous reference to “popjects” I could find was from artist and educator Perry Vasquez in 2003. Here’s a bit from his page of research on Popjects:
Popjects are objectifications of the everyday. They inherit and express the popular ideas, opinions, problems and attitudes of the culture at large. The best Popjects have a matter of factness about them that needs no explanation. Popjects often take the form of novelties. Their drive towards the new (yet mass produced), makes them a distinctly modern commodity. Popjects are thrown in the path of people to catch their attention.
A treatise on popjects is forthcoming! In the meantime, click through the following gallery for a quick primer on popjects.