The short version of the story goes like this:
Some people in Spain were very angry with Gehry's design for the Bilbao Guggenheim. So they started wearing "Fuck Frank Gehry" t-shirts. The shirts were designed in brown and orange by Barnaby Harris who had long been looking for a follow up to his big hit - the "Fuck Yoga" t-shirt.
Then Gehry's driver saw the shirt at a super-bowl party and got one for THE GEHRY himself. THE GEHRY turned out to have a good sense of humor and started wearing the shirt around - at work and to the gym.
Then the shirt really caught on. Barnaby Harris says:
“First, someone from his office called and wanted me to deliver one to a friend of Frank’s who was giving a lecture at Baruch College called ‘Starchitecture,’ ” Harris recalled. “A week later, he called again: ‘Would you please send some shirts to Bruce Ratner?’ A couple of weeks ago, I got a third call: ‘Frank needs two in every color and every size.’”
NEAT-O - i say.
If i were Gehry, i would take this is as a big 'ol compliment. You have to be 'kind of a big deal' (in the words of the wonderful Ron Burgundy) to inspire such strong feelings!
Anyway, Gehry is used to inspiring people to great shows of contempt:
"You know, when Bilbao was presented publicly, there was a candlelight vigil against me.And then there was a thing in a Spanish paper saying, ‘Kill the American Architect.’ That was scary. So I stood beside the President every time there was an event. I figured, if they’re gonna kill me . . . Anyway" - said Gehry.
People have pretty much hated everything he has built - at first glance. And then somehow, all of his buildings acquire a huge following and love and respect of many.
Personally, I am a huge fan, even though I generally prefer classics.
How can you not love these flowing lines that make his buildings look as though they are constantly in motion? Catching the light and playing with the surrounding world. Wonderful! - say I.
Bilbao Guggenheim at Nights
The Dancing House in Prague
For those not yet in love with Gehry's work, Wikipedia has a good general article.
If you want the shirt (for only $33!) you can buy it at fuckyoga.com.