The Flavorpill Guide to DIY Pop-Culture Halloween Costumes: Art


Ah, Halloween preparation. It’s that time we make big plans and end up drunkenly donning cat ears or a witch hat or something because pffft. Why make it complicated? Who says you have to waste your beer tab allowance on something expensive and crappy that you’re probably only going to wear once? Because we care, Flavorpill is bringing you a set of easily DIY Pop Culture Halloween Costume Guides. We’ve already suggested some music-themed options, so here’s our attempts at art-related get-ups!

With the help of our latest installment, you can be “present” as Marina Abramović, raise yourself some hype with a Damien Hirst butterfly-tattooed-crotch, or do a classic Warhol with a new, shiny twist. Get creative, arty people!

Marina Abramović performing The Artist Is Present at the MoMA

Remember that? Of course you do. The lines, the crowds, the stampedes, the celebrities, the nude (gasp!) people upstairs, the hype, the memes, the Marina Abramović Made Me Cry Tumblr… One of the MoMA’s best attended retrospectives/performances starring the diva of performance art herself is actually a fairly easy costume to pull off and a perfect do-up for a duo, especially if one of you happens to look anything like Paco Blancas, the crying superfan. But you don’t have to. Just look weary, like you just spent more than seven hours in a line.

The costume:

Ivar chair, pine — IKEA, $20

Olay moisturizer to slather on liberallyWalgreens, $9

Red maxi dress (although a cleverly-tied red, white, or blue bathrobe could work) — ASOS, $64

Jeff Koons Attempting to Copyright a Balloon Dog

Jeff Koons got a tad overzealous when he sued San Francisco gallery and store Park Life for selling balloon animal-shaped bookends, alleging copyright infringement. After several humiliating burns, including that one about the bulbous doggie having been copyrighted in 1966 by balloon master Jimmy Davis, Koons gave up with the lawsuit, but that doesn’t mean we should stop having fun with it. If you already own a suit, this one is incredibly easy.

The costume:

A suit — your closet or your local Goodwill

Balloon animal kit — Amazon, $12

A sour expression. You’re very upset about this balloon business.

Bonus: Got a bunch of friends who don’t like to dress up for Halloween? Bring ’em along. They’re your entourage of assistants who actually make your art.

GARAGE Magazine Cover by Damien Hirst

Dasha Zhukova’s brilliant PR-scheme has worked. Her new arty magazine GARAGE and its cover (one of three) featuring a nude crotch tattooed with a Damien Hirst butterfly, hidden discreetly under another butterfly in the style of the Velvet Underground’s “Peel Here” sticker à la Andy Warhol, was selling like hotcakes. Here’s your little how-to.

The costume:

Fruit of the Loom t-shirt you can write “GARAGE” on — Kmart, $8

Flesh-colored mid-thigh shaper — Bare Necessities, $18

Nylon butterfly — GG Distributors, $8

Kathleen Folden, the Sexy-Jesus-Art Smasher

When Montana truck driver Kathleen Folden trucked herself over to a museum in Loveland, Colorado just to smash Enrique Chagoya’s The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals with a crowbar while screaming “How can you desecrate my lord?” and bloodying her hands until the SWAT team arrived, her motives were pretty clear. Intersex Jesus mid-Cunnilingus? That’s blasphemy! Smashy smashy! Just so your motives are clear, wear this only in a crowd where people have heard the news story, and can contextualize. Otherwise, your costume might be scarier than intended.

The costume:

Wrecking bar — Home Depot, $8

Jesus Tougher Than Nails t-shirt — Kick Ass Shirts, $17

Brown wig (tatter and tease it to frizzy perfection) — Whole Sale Halloween Costumes, $11

Jug of fake blood — Wholesale Halloween Costumes, $7

Mom jeans. Dig ’em out. You know you have them.

Naked Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez by Daniel Edwards

There were so many amazing new sculptures from the notorious Daniel Edwards this year, yet, this one happens to be a most excellent (albeit, decidedly creepy) choice for those of us attending any sort of naughty parties, bronze complexion not required.

The costume:

Sturdy thongs — Discount Stripper, take your pick, $6

Cardboard star and maple leaf cutouts — Staples, $10

Metallic marker (for the cutouts) — Amazon, $8

Bronze body paint (for all over) — Costume Cauldron, $13

Shepard Fairey Beat Up by Yankee-Hating Thugs in Copenhagen

A while ago, famous street artist Shepard Fairey got ambushed by some anarchist thugs in Copenhagen, which he personally assures had nothing to do with the “propaganda” mural he erected at the site of Denmark’s government-demolished activists center, as paid for by the government. The mural was subsequently and incessantly tagged with “Go home Yankee hipster!” graffiti by local writers, similar to the rhetoric reportedly hurled at him by said thugs.

The costume:

Obey t-shirt — Obey Clothing, $35

Rolled up sheet of wallpaper, a.k.a. “the wheatpaste” — Home Depot, pricey, best ask for a little sample sheet

Bruise makeup — Wholesale Halloween Costumes, $7

Alternately, if you think this is in bad taste, you can always skip the bruise and just go as the Shep. Or have a spray paint-savvy friend doll you up with some tags, in reference to Shepard Fairey’s mural on the Bowery being bombed repeatedly.

Ai Weiwei Released from Prison

After being kidnapped and detained by the Chinese government for 80 days for speaking too much truth about the government, China’s rebellious artist Ai Weiwei returned with a stern gag order — no more Twitter! Can’t hold him down though: He’s recently been named the most powerful artist in the world by ArtPreview magazine. This particular outfit works well for fellas who already have facial hair.

The costume:

An old blue t-shirt

Grey mustache and goatee combo — Costumers Network, $13

A print out of the Twitter bird logo, crossed out with a Sharpie, taped over your mouth.

Chrome Andy Warhol by Robert Pruitt in Union Square

The shimmery statue of Andy Warhol recently revealed in Union Square, steps away from the former site of the Factory, is quite the monument to the bygone days past. Plus, surely there will still be at least three Edie Sedgwicks at any major Halloween party, so that’s like a custom made pickup set up right there. You’re welcome.

The costume:

Metallic Krylon spray — Michael’s, ~$6

A suit that you don’t mind spraying entirely with Krylon — your closet or your local Goodwill

Metallic face paint — Amazon, $8

Warhol wig, sprayed — Amazon, $20

A back issue of Interview Magazine, slightly coated with Krylon — eBay, $5

Walking around the party and proclaiming “Oh, I think it’s great” is optional.