Diller + Scofidio
(New York City, New York, Established 1979)
American, born Poland
(Lodz, Poland, 1954)
(New York City, New York, 1935)
single channel video
single channel video with sound, 8:27 min.
This artwork is not currently on view. The museum is closed during our expansion
In the original installation of Soft Sell, a large pair of scarlet female lips was temporarily projected onto the glass doors of the Rialto, an abandoned porn theater on New York's Forty-second Street. A sensuous female voice emanated from the speak-hole of the ticket booth, soliciting passersby with dubious offers of bodies, real estate, and a wide range of consumerist pleasures. Each pitch began with her saying, "Hey, you, wanna buy a..."
Presented during the "Disneyfication" of Times Square in the 1990s — a period when activities shifted from drug dealing and prostitution to family-oriented theater and entertainment — Soft Sell suggests that the commodification of sexual desire wa merely being replaced with a new set of seductions designed to appeal to our consumerist fantasies.
Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Patricia and Raoul Kennedy, Lisa and John Miller, Christine and Michael Murray, Helen Hilton Raiser, and Danielle and Brooks Walker, Jr.
© Diller + Scofidio
faces, lips, lipstick, women, noses, performance, propositions
From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.
In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at email@example.com to verify artwork details.