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Paul Tuller's Pop Idol Devotion Candles

A clever, modernized play on religious iconography

by David Graver
on 16 February 2015

Fresh off a stint as an on-set illustrator for HBO's "Looking" social campaign, Brooklyn-based artist Paul Tuller—who first won our attention with a thoughtful queer categories poster series—just debuted a Devotion to Pop candle line. This play on traditional seven day prayer candles feature the visages of some of the pop world's most idolized: FKA Twigs, Lana Del Rey, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift and more. With fan culture a rabid, internet-fueled and ever-escalating pastime, these candles embrace the idea of devout fandom, with a humorous tinge. Each candle has been screen-printed by hand, with two color separations each—and based off of a painting Tuller initially crafted of each celebrity.

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Tuller also fashions the stars among symbolism representative of their cultural identities. It's a nice touch and reflective of the original iterations—commonly found at bodegas across NYC. Tuller tells CH, "Most of the bodegas around my apartment in Bushwick sell religious seven day candles and I've always found something really appealing about the colors and low-fi illustrations. I started to do some research and found out there were also seven day spiritual candles for warding off negativity, for prosperity, and for a better love life. Those spiritual candles are really charming because each one is a single color and the print is never consistent. Making a tribute to pop stars seemed like an entertaining twist on devotional candles and it was also a great excuse to build a mini screen-printing studio in my apartment." Tuller's candles are charming and thoughtful, while appropriately yielding to our celeb-obsessed culture in a way that reflects the handmade work of an excellent artist.

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Tuller's Devotion to Pop candles are available online for $25 each.

Images courtesy of Paul Tuller

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