Guillermo and Rafa are 30-something entrepreneurs who make art from a material that makes most of us cringe. Not unfamiliar to challenging taboos, they run a gift poop delivery service called I Poop You, which allows anyone with an imagination to express his or her most nuanced emotions towards loved ones via six flavors of animal poop. They recently had a hit show at the ATA Gallery, so we asked them to sit down with us for an interview.
Poop art? How did you guys think of such a thing?
The dictionary defines ART /ärt/ as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as a painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power… So we thought “Why not do the same thing with shit?’ It’s actually an important part of our iconoclastic mission, to challenge one’s squeamishness and to advocate the power of poop as a means of expression.
How do you guys feel to be associated with poop, something most people wouldn’t feel too proud of being know for?
In the past two years we’ve noticed that many people refers to us as ‘The Poop Guys’. The best part of this is that pretty much all of them have included this comical nickname in a fun, creative, or positive context. So it seems that most of our fans think we’re the Shit, which makes us feel very proud.
Do you guys have an art background?
Not really. We do not even consider ourselves artists. We’re just two creative minds who enjoy putting together crazy ideas we happen to think of.
Have you made art before?
We’ve done some graffiti here and there, paintings that helped us conquer our beautiful girlfriends, lamps, art cars for burning man… But the pieces shown at Poop is Art and Vice Versa have been the first presented to the public as (f)ART.
The title of your show is “POOP IS ART AND VICE VERSA”. Do you feel that art is poop? What is your view on art today? On poop?
The title was created in response to the eternal question, “What is art?” We believe that art can be anything that evokes a feeling and good conversation. On the other hand, there’s a lot of bullshit in the art world or any other world, so yes, art can also be pretty shitty in some viewers’ eyes.
Regarding poop… It’s just poop. It’s not that we’re obsessed with shit or anything. In our opinion poop is the most natural thing in this world, and it plays a very important role in the ecosystem. Nobody can debate that. And let’s face it, farts and poop are also fun!
Front Window at Artists’ Television Access
Your pieces are often humorous. Did you make them with the intention to entertain, with the intention to be art, or…?
The primary intention is always to entertain the viewer and ourselves as well as doing something fun, creative and beneficial for our business.
What was the inspiration behind some of the individual pieces, such as Che, the rosary, the Louis Vuitton plunger, the Google Glasshole?
Every piece has a meaning or a message behind it. The Che made out of goat poop is called The Poop Revolution. Our message here was pretty clear: Make poop not war.
Material: Organic Goat Poop
The LV plunger is one of our favorites. It’s just classiness at its max. We mock the idea of unnecessary luxury behind a pattern or a simple logo.
Material: unused plunger, stolen Louis Vuitton bag, fake gold
The rosary, made with holy shit, came after we explored making jewelry with goat pellets. It looks great with proper lighting and needless to say, Poop is our religion 😉
Poop Is Our Religion
Material: Holy Shit
The Google Glasshole is just a tribute to the shittiest product Google has released. With much respect though.
Material: Top Secret
Any other pieces that have a good story behind them?
Well, a funny fact is the one with Benjamin Franklin was made with almost 10 pounds of cow shit.
Can’t Believe This Shit
Material: cast, acrylic, cow shit
What has been the public’s reaction to your art?
It’s been great. This is our fourth and biggest show since we started making art in 2013. Let’s be clear, this is literally a shit show and the people who come expect to have some fun. We haven’t seen a single person without a smile in the four shows we’ve had thus far.
What has been the best/worst reaction?
Kids’ reactions are definitely great and sweet, but the buyers’ reaction are for sure the best! People spending money on our shit? Hell yeah! That means a lot to us.
Regarding the worst reaction… We have never had anyone puking on our art, but if that were to happen, we would take it as compliment.
How do your parents, partners, and friends feel about your art?
They all love it! We are extremely happy to have the family, partners, and friends we have. We have experienced nothing but support from them since the beginning, many times even physical! In our circle of friends, everyone has been always more or less involved but they’ve all been there helping, taking photos, videos, acting, modeling, picking poop, moving shit around… Without them none of this would be possible.
The making of Poop Revolution
Do you have plans for future art projects, poop and non-poop related?
We are thinking of doing a US tour this coming year and have even thought of bringing our shit to Japan. We’ll see. Besides that, projects usually come short term. We will keep you updated.
You guys run a poop delivery business, I POOP YOU. What kind of person sends poop to someone?
People with sense of humor who think outside the box and have strong feelings towards a friend or relative. Usually there are inner jokes or experiences (poop related) between the two people. Mostly guys. Between men we don’t send flowers to each others, but why not some other aromatic, precious gift?
I POOP YOU
$9.95 – $19.95
Do you ever get orders for revenge poop?
Can you talk a bit about your fashion brand, I POOP FASHION?
I POOP FASHION is all about this self-expression, the elegance of humor, and the humor of elegance. Our look is both clean and dirty, a unique style that questions the real importance of carrying a logo on your clothes, regardless of whether it’s an alligator, some aristocratic mother f***er riding a horse, or a piece of shit.
I POOP YOU Fashion
Classic Oxford Shirt
Have you run into strangers on the street wearing an I POOP item?
Not that we noticed, but who knows if some of them were wearing our underwear.
I POOP YOU Fashion
Skid Marked Briefs/Panties
Do you guys have plans for a fragrance line?
Ha! Maybe in the future. Only big stars like JLo or Justin Bieber get to release their own perfume. Fortunately we’ve had the pleasure of spreading a good amount of different odors all across the US since starting I POOP YOU.
Is I POOP YOU and I POOP FASHION full time jobs for you?
Unfortunately not. Rafa still works as a stripper for private events while I make some cash designing cool gadgets for the CIA.
Thank you I POOP YOU, Guillermo and Rafa!
I POOP YOU
I POOP YOU FASHION
A special thanks to Carmen Belmonte, Linda Scobie and John Slattery.
More pieces from the show:
Shit Without Borders
Material: a lot of goat shit
Shit Without Borders (Detail)
Material: a lot of goat shit
I Like This Shit
Material: goat shit, LED lights, awesomeness
Material: acrylic, goat pellets