The husband and wife team Steve and Dorota Coy founded the corporation Hygienic Dress League as an art project using branding and advertising as self-promotion. The corporation has as far as we know so far not manufacture or sold a thing – other than public art that is.
Hygienic Dress League set out to make a number of happenings and murals on the border of art and business, and the duo is said to be inspired by commercialism and corporatism, pop-culture, identity, and fashion. I personally thought that the league had retired, rumor had it, that they opened a juice bar. But apparently not, because I happily re-found them on Instagram this year.
Steve and Dorota met in Kaui, but have lived and worked in Detroit for many years. Detroit is also where you will run into many of their murals, exhibitions and happenings. You can also find their work throughout the US and in Europe. Stay up to date on their whereabouts on the corporation web.
My first Hygienic Dress League sighting was in Waterloo Art District in Cleveland, where the couple in 2013 participate in the Zoetic Walls project. And yes, I will admit it, I do love Collinwood and this mural is one of my Cleveland favorites. The mural is – like a number of their other murals – a nice shiny gold patted wall. You want to go see it soon though, because I have heard that the Art District has called for proposals and are trying to find an developer for the parcel on the corner of Waterloo Rd and E 156th Street, where Hygienic Dress League’s mural is located. This could mean the end of the run down old building and thereby the wall.
The mural in Cleveland features a pigeon, which has for years been the corporation logo. It is the symbol of urban wildlife that is often around where Hygienic Dress League does it’s work. The businessman is a inhabitant of a futuristic alter-reality, the gasmasks and safety goggles symbolizing how this character seem to breathe a different air of social separation.
Looking at the cooperation’s newer work, it seems diamonds have become their new best friend and favorite symbol. So happy to see that the couple is still out there doing their thing. I will make an effort to try to run into some of their more recent work very soon.