Valerie Vande Panne

Using art to shine light on Shinola

While there is a ton of useful, eye-opening information on the site—including Shinola’s racist ads, exploitative remarks made by CEO Jacques Panis, and more—there isn’t a lot of humor in Modrak’s Shinola piece.

But there is a lot of humor in her media attacking Best Made Company—a luxury ax company—where you can buy an ax designed in New York City for just $348.

The website Modrak created, RemadeCo, replaces the ax for a luxury plunger. “Repeating the same words back until it’s annoying… using their words and shifting them slightly so the problems shine through,” is her tactic, and the point is made, hilariously, as you scroll through her website, looking at luxury plungers.

Modrak is in mild awe of the Best Made Company’s Facebook page (and, it seems, brand deification in general), where people will post things like “I’m drinking out of your blue enamel cup.”

“I don’t get that,” she says. “Seeking approval from a brand? Why would someone want to be patted on the head by this company?”

She urges consumers to “Stop buying colonialist versions of Detroit and blackness. Do not buy Shinola products.”

And maybe consider that brands aren’t human, and that a luxury ax isn’t going to magically turn you into a rugged woodsman any more than drinking out of a blue enamel cup will.

But until our shared society has a collective epiphany, and as long as brands continue to tell ridiculous, slick stories, Modrak will continue to question, and produce art that makes it hard to look away or to deny what the true message behind the brand is.

See more of Rebekah Modrak’s work at


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