Original Asks: How The Peanuts Global Artist Collective Reimagined Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Gang
Good grief! What happens when seven contemporary artists reinterpret one of the most beloved comic strips of all time? That’s the question the Peanuts Global Artist Collective set out to answer through a first of its kind public arts project that enlisted Kenny Scharf, Rob Pruitt, Nina Chanel Abney, AVAF (Assume Vivid Astro Focus, a collective founded by Eli Sudbrack), FriendsWithYou (Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III), Tomokazu Matsuyama, and graffiti artist André Saraiva, to put an original spin on Snoopy and the gang. This Fall, the second phase of the worldwide program hits the streets (and the shelves at STORY,) bringing the artful reinterpretations to to New York with installations to follow in Mexico City, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, San Francisco, and Seoul. We chatted with the team behind the program about how it came to life and what’s next…
What was the inspiration for the Peanuts Global Artist Collective?
Back in 2013, Peanuts was interested in partnering with well-known artists to create a global public art statement. Peanuts is 68 years old, but always remains fresh and new to fans – and we wanted to bring that to life around the world.
How did the process come to life?
We teamed up with Yvonne Force Villareal and her partner Doreen Remen to form Culture Corps, a group that would select the artists to partner with Peanuts. We worked collaboratively to select the artists based on things like their medium, global resonance, and whether or not they were themselves Peanuts fans. Each artist was then asked to create public art concepts that Peanuts could realize throughout the world and bring to life on merchandise.
Where can we expect to see the pieces?
Earlier this year, seven cities throughout the world – New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Paris, Mexico City, Seoul, and Tokyo unveiled public murals of art created by all seven artists. The New York City murals are still up and can be seen throughout the Hudson Square District and in Chelsea. The second phase of the project launches in Chelsea on September 5th. We asked Rob Pruitt to create special dog bowls that will be placed throughout the arts district and in front of dozens of businesses.
How does this match up with Sparky’s vision?
Sparky was proud of how his strip captured the love of fans around the world. We think he would have loved to have seen how each of these seven artists lent their eye to his original work.
Fans will see more public art around the world as the project continues to evolve. In the meantime, fans can follow the project on Instagram through the hashtag #snoopyglobalart or on the website: www.peanutsglobalartistcollective.com