Marc Jacobs: Why I love SpongeBob SquarePants!

01 September 2008

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SpongeBob SquarePants is officially the hippest cartoon character on the planet - or should we say, on the sea bed, where he lives in an underwater pineapple. Scarlett Johansson and Justin Timberlake are confirmed fans of the talking sea sponge. Liam Gallagher has just taken delivery of a Warhol inspired SpongeBob portrait. The latest high profile fan is uber-designer Marc Jacobs who has a tattoo of SpongeBob on his bicep. So, we just had to ask Jacobs , what's so great about Spongebob? ‘I started to watch SpongeBob because of a painting by Richard Prince,' says Marc. ‘He did a show at Barbara Gladstone Gallery in NY a couple of years back. He had cheque paintings - US bank cheques mounted on a canvas with jokes painted on them. One of the backgrounds of the cheques has SpongeBob on them - being such a huge Prince fan I checked into the SpongeBob thing and started watching it. It's amazing - the characters, the colours. It's surreal. I looked into it and saw it really has a huge influence. I mean I don't know if Rei Kawakubo (of Comme des Garcons) ever watched SpongeBob. I started to look at Comme des Garcons and thought her colour sense was very SpongeBob. Then I started looking at characters in fashion shoots, and I thought there is whole SpongeBob thing that has infiltrated and influenced the way people think whether they know it or not. So I just kinda became fascinated by the kind of art of SpongeBob, yeah. I don't even listen to it. I just like having it on screen with the sound down. Watching the colours change. Then, you know, I did a Vuitton show and we had a video case loaded up with moving images from SpongeBob - and I came down runway at the end carrying it. As a kind of homage to Richard Prince, and to show where the colour palette came from.'  We wonder if SpongeBob realises he's so hot right now?!

- By Melanie Rickey


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