The Latest in Transparent Wit Is a Mark Larson See-Through Tie
Larson calls his line ArtNecko, and is selling the copyrighted ties to specialty stores in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis for $10 to $20. "It's nice finally to do something creatively that pays," says the former Lutheran seminarian and college art instructor.
Mark, who lives in the artsy community of Stillwater, Minn. with his wife, Nancy, and 8-year-old daughter, Simone, launched ArtNecko in his kitchen. Nancy laminated the ties with an appliance designed to seal food in plastic bags. Now the Lawsons' variety of styles is dizzying. "Railroad Tie" has an HO-gauge track, pebbles and a miniature crossing sign inside.
"Fishing Tackle" features Goldfish crackers, a hook, sinker and a rubber worm. "Vanity" contains false eyelashes and phony fingernails. And for the ghoulish, there's "Bones"—scrubbed and boiled shortribs.
Lawson originally set out to be a concert violinist. At 18 he began to waver. "My father sent me to a shrink," he recalls, "who gave me tests that said go into either music or art. I chose art."
All this foolishness began in 1974 when a group of artists launched an annual necktie ball as a cure for Minnesota winter blahs. Mark won the third year's competition with "Aquarium," filled with darting goldfish. His next inspiration was "Neon," which plugged into a wall socket.
After that Mark went commercial, but he hopes to get back to real art soon. In the meantime he is planning his next extravaganza, "the fit-to-be-tied tie. It will inflate to a straitjacket for the incurably insane," Mark chortles. "Or it's for people like me who never know when they'll need one."
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