By Zoe Sottile, CNN
Just in time for the holidays, artist collective MSCHF is releasing its newest playful art piece: a giant, 930-calorie, $19.99 fruit loop.
MSCHF, a Brooklyn-based group of artists, is no stranger to headlines documenting their provocative, irreverent releases. Most recently, they operated an ATM at Art Basel Miami Beach that displayed a public leaderboard of users’ bank balances, ranked from highest to lowest.
Their previous projects have also played with modifications of “ready-made” items — like the unofficial Nike shoes they released in collaboration with Lil Nas X, which triggered a lawsuit and recall.
The unauthorized massive fruit loop is the group’s latest lighthearted experiment with consumerism. As the name suggests, it’s a single loop of the classic cereal that’s big enough to fill the whole box. The giant cereal pieces will go on sale on December 19th for $19.99. Each one weighs “almost half a pound,” according to MSCHF’s website for the product.
Daniel Greenberg, MSCHF’s co-founder, told CNN that an extremely limited number of the huge loops will be released — and he expects they’ll sell out quickly.
The project was a natural extension of the group’s ethos, according to Greenberg. “We look at things in culture and figure out how to make a twist on it,” he said. “Cereal was definitely, you know, one of these cultural readymades in our mind. You could go anywhere in the world and show it to someone and they would know what it is.”
But fans looking for a deeper meaning might be out of luck. The intent, said Greenberg, was, “‘Just like, let’s make a big f—ing fruit loop and that was it.”
Developing the cereal, which the website specifies was not affiliated with or endorsed by Kellogg’s, required a months-long process of reverse engineering.
“We take everything we do extremely seriously,” Greenberg said. “The easy solution would have been like, basically making a cake or a doughnut.”
But instead of just making a doughnut or cake in the shape of the classic cereal loop, MSCHF worked to replicate the exact texture and taste of the real Kellogg’s cereal — and Greenberg says the final result is almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
Greenberg emphasized that MSCHF is fundamentally an art project that caters to collectors. They’re not trying to compete with Kellogg’s — and although the product packaging shown on the website is clearly riffing a real box of Fruit Loops, it also includes MSCHF’s logo and states the product is not associated with Kellogg’s.
That may be so but the cereal company doesn’t quite see it that way. In an emailed statement, Kellogg spokesperson Kris Bahner told CNN that the “Big Fruit Loop” constitutes copyright infringement.
“Kellogg Company does not have a relationship with MSCHF and we were not involved in the creation of the Big Fruit Loop. The campaign does not accurately depict the Kellogg’s brand,” said Bahner in the statement. “Given the trademark infringement and unauthorized use of our brand, we have reached out to the company seeking an amicable resolution.”
Because of MSCHF’s “robust fan base,” Greenberg thinks most buyers probably won’t actually be eating anything out of the boxes. “The majority of people will want to put it on their shelves and keep it,” he said.
MSCHF fans can expect more Alice-in-Wonderland-esque drops in the future. Next year, the collective plans to introduce another familiar product made “microscopic,” although Greenberg wouldn’t specify what it was.
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