Featured Vendor: Loyalty and Blood
The T-shirt, sweatshirt, and of course, tote bag have been making their resounding comeback as silent soapboxes and portable canvases for sometime, but none with quite the same wit and intrigue as husband-and-wife team David Denosowicz and Maggie Doyle's Loyalty and Blood line. With their handmade pendants, bracelets, rings and screenprinted images—one of a rather somber-looking skull with a graffiti-style smiley face and tongue drawn in place of the jawbone—the Texans-turned-Brooklynites take iconic images and turn them on themselves. Imagine the best of nerdy magic, RPG's and Moby-Dick overlaid with a fresh contemporary sort of wink.
Wander to the back left corner of the ground floor of Skylight One Hanson and you can find the pair, now along with their recent addition to the family, Baby Fiona, lounged back behind their table with the sort of laid-back, take-it-as-it-comes vibe that feels transplanted straight from their living room. First fawn over the baby. Then flip through the racks and make yourself at home. (Ed.: L&B also designed the illustrious Flea Bag tote, for sale every weekend.)
Your name's intense. Where did it come from?
We came up with Loyalty & Blood since we felt it could mean many things and be open-ended. For us, being a couple, we like the familial and loyal connotations. The idea of bloodlines, crests and history instantly came to mind. It definitely has a toughness and edge to it, which is pretty laughable since when you meet us we are far from that!
Where do you draw your inspiration for the images you print and the jewelry you make?
For our prints, we are inspired by contemporary art, doodles, appropriation, and collage. We are big fans of self-published zines and DIY culture. For jewelry, we both studied metalsmithing as undergrads in Texas. We love ancient Roman, Greek and Egyptian jewelry. Modernist jewelry from 1930-1960 is also a huge influence. We are big fans of Art Smith, who was an African-American Modernist who worked with simple, organic forms. We also love Robert Ebendorf and Herman Jünger, two contemporary metalsmithing pioneers.
Why are some of the shirt images upside-down?
It comes from the idea of the misprint, which we find can be more interesting and valuable than the the way it should be printed. We use some found imagery for our prints and find it visually more interesting to alter images by turning them upside-down, making it a double image, or adding an airbrushed or handdrawn element to it. It requires the viewer to think a little harder about it.
You guys are one of those awesome art-making power couples. If you could pick a legendary couple (fictional or otherwise) to dress up in L&B, who would they be and what would you put them in?
The artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. They were a couple from 1955-1961 and made some of their best work when they were together. Both artists, especially Rauschenberg, influenced us both when we started looking at Modern Art as undergrads. Johns and Rauschenberg made us realize that art could be anything. For Jasper Johns, obviously we would have him wear the Spiral Sweatshirt to go with his Target works. For Rauschenberg, we would have him wear our King Tut T (above) since we think he would have liked the historical reference and that it was also an upside-down image. Coincidentally, Rauschenberg hails from where David grew up, the Golden Triangle in Southeast Texas!
Finally, what's the best part of working at the Flea?
The Flea offers us instant feedback when we create something new. It is really valuable to our process and we can find out immediately if something will stick. In addition to that, the Flea has given us this awesome community of artists and dealers. We feel so lucky to be a part of it every weekend and to be surrounded by so many creative people that are passionate about what they do. The shoppers are pretty cool too—the Flea offers the best people-watching and we love that we get the chance to meet people from all over the world!