Thomas Calabrese, a Brooklyn art student, accidentally punked the entire Internet earlier this week. One of his assignments, a fake Vampire Weekend album cover, was spread across the blogosphere under the guise of being the real thing. Via This is Fake DIY:
Thomas Calabrese, a Brooklyn based graduate student studying for his Masters in Branding at New York’s School of Visual Arts, was, along with the rest of his class, given a lemon by his tutor, told to photograph it, post it on Facebook, and whoever got the most 'likes’ would win. His idea, by anyone’s standards, was a little bit brilliant.
It’s worth noting that Calabrese isn’t totally incident. In his quest for an “A,” he did play a bit of a trick on his friends.
“The only thing we’re not allowed to do is tell people on Facebook what the picture is actually for,” he explained, when we tracked him down. “I knew a lot of my friends would respond positively to me pretending to make a Vampire Weekend cover. I was winning until yesterday, when someone surpassed my 93 likes with a photograph of an anniversary picture being consummated with two 'lemon manhattan’ drinks.”
So off Tom went, only intending to grab some much needed likes from his friends and colleagues. “I’m excited to share the artwork I did for Vampire Weekend’s album coming out later this year,” he penned. “I was told I wasn’t able to talk about the project until it launched, and this morning I was sent their teaser website! I did a lot of variations and was happy to see they picked the more out there design. I can’t wait to see the full album package in stores!”
Calabrese then set up a Lemon Sounds website, and linked to it from his Facebook page.
From there, the whole thing got out of hand. Both the band and their label, XL, released statements saying that Lemon Sounds was a fake. Calabrese then took down the site, not wanting to piss off one of his favourite bands. He has yet to tell the world if he got an “A,” although if he didn’t it’s hard to imagine what did.