The modus operandi of Eshe, a Kiwi streetwear clothing company that was started in 2008, is to take things back to the glory days of skating counter-culture; to slaughter a few metaphorical sacred cows. And it's managed to inspire some fairly contrived controversy with a combination of sacrilege and old-school Garbage Pail kids imagery with a new poster campaign in Auckland.
Not surprisingly, in a similar fashion to the more restrained and intelligent atheist bus campaign, the publicity stunt posters (if you're feeling particularly confrontational you can also wear these prints on your person or buy the prints) featuring 'Pedo Pope', 'Hole E Christ', 'Brainwashin' Brian' and 'Tick-Tock Mohammed' have created a bit of a stir. And, given the events that transpired after the Danish newspaper published a cartoon with an image of Mohammed, it seems either gutsy or foolish (or both) to tempt fate again in this way.
According to the Eshe website, the company is "inspired by 90’s skate culture, street art, music and the golden age of free thought, Eshe uses the graphic medium, along with a seditious sense of humour, to shine a light on the absurd and irrational".
Judging by this campaign, Eshe thinks religion obviously falls into that category. But, while the art work is actually pretty cool, it could also be shining a light on its own absurdity at the same time.
According to the Herald, the posters were designed by Eshe's owner Kennedy Poynter and they were produced in association with muckmouth.com, a skateboarding website partly owned by Leighton Dyer, the boss of advertising agency Rascals, which is no stranger to controversy itself.