For most of human history, art was created one piece at a time. When it moved from cave walls to portable canvases, that must have blown minds. Ditto for when we gained the ability to reproduce art, cranking out millions of copies. But an often overlooked innovation that really got art, or minor art at least, into our lives was simply to add an adhesive backing.
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To several generations’ worth of youth, stickers were the fastest way to prettify something, vandalize something or establish some attempt at identity by slapping favorite brands or subversive messages onto notebooks and laptops. Custom sticker company StickerYou points out that stickers accomplished more than that, everything “from revolutionizing the UK postal system in the 1800s, to the first Velvet Underground album featuring a saucy banana sticker designed by Andy Warhol, to inspiring countless pieces of street art from around the world today.”
To celebrate their stock-and-trade, StickerYou is launching the History of Stickers Museum at their home base in Toronto (which is the largest sticker store in the world), kicking it off with a permanent art exhibition called Stickers: RePEELed.
Curated by Dave and Holly Combs, editors of the seminal sticker zine Peel Magazine, Stickers: RePEELed takes a look at the unifying art of stickers, bringing together hundreds of pieces of original sticker art from around the world. The exhibition includes works from artists including Shepard Fairey, who celebrated the 30th anniversary of his iconic Obey Giant sticker-turned-brand last year, Rodger Beck, Robots Will Kill, Matthew Hoffman and more.
The History of Stickers Museum is located at the company’s retail location at 677-679 Queen Street West, on the edge of Toronto’s Fashion District.