Rethink Shinola

RETHINK SHINOLA is an Internet-based artwork analyzing and critiquing luxury-goods company Shinola’s brand messages. Shinola purchased their name from the former Shinola, a shoe polish company that promoted their product using racist caricatures of African Americans. The “new” Shinola company planted itself in Detroit and leverages and profiteers from the extreme conditions and image of the city. The company creates representations of patriarchal whiteness to enforce perceptions of their “leadership,” and circulates images of African American employees being grateful for this so-called governance. In Shinola’s narratives, the Wild Detroit environment needs a civilized savior who can first identify with and then tame and civilize the savage. RETHINK SHINOLA is not meant to be a linear formula to this problem but a way of looking at, unpacking, and addressing these complexities.



Michael H. Hodges, “ArtPrize Nine Opens Wednesday with 1,346 artists,” The Detroit News, September 18, 2017. [Article featuring my work and three other ArtPrize artists.]

David Pierce, “Shinola’s Quest to Make the Best Turntable You’ve Ever Heard,” WIRED, December 13, 2016.

Rachel Zurer, “Are Shinola’s Luxury Goods Actually Helping Detroit?” Conscious Company Magazine, Issue 9, September/October 2016.

Tyler Denmead, “Colonizing Settlers in the Creative City: A Manifest Destiny,”, March 21, 2016. Web.

Alan Stamm, “Detroiters Will Be Hired to Make Shinola Headphones, Turntables, and Speakers.” Deadline DetroitJanuary 7, 2016. Web.

Alex Williams, “Shinola Takes Its ‘Detroit Cool’ Message on the Road,” The New York Times, January 6, 2016.

Mark Maynard, “Telling shit from Shinola… It’s not as easy as you might think,”, February 10, 2015. Web.