In 1971, Tony Palladino sent out this note to a selected but wide group of media contacts to solicit work. He printed the note in color and ripped each one by hand. The tactic worked! He successfully got work as a result of the mailing, and doesn’t recall a negative backlash.
Palladino made a point of choosing business associates who would get the joke, and would recognize his initials, T.P. He also says he wouldn’t dare pull a stunt like this today.
More Tony Palladino at the Museum of Modern Art: “Tube Floor Lamp,” part of the museum’s permanent collection since 1968, is currently on view in the exhibition What Was Good Design? alongside objects by Charles and Ray Eames, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen and Bruno Munari.
Tony Palladino contributed this sign — a found object — to the 1966 Museum of Modern Art exhibition The Object Transformed. Curated by Mildred Constantine and Arthur Drexler for the museum’s Architecture and Design Department, it featured works by Jasper Johns, Man Ray, Bruno Minari, Meret Oppenheim, Robert Rauschenberg, and others. In the New York Times, John Canaday wrote,
“The Object Transformed” is a collection of utilitarian objects—chairs, books, mattresses, radio sets, cutlery, articles of clothing and the like—that artists or designers have transformed in a variety of ways, sometimes humourously, often monstrously, but always expressively in one direction or another.
In the introduction to the exhibition’s catalogue (designed by Massimo Vignelli), Constantine describes the objects as “apparitions of everyday reality, complete with overtones of grim absurdity,” and suggests “for the 20th century they may be the most appropriate kind of still life.” Admission was $1.25.