NEW YORK –If New York is the city that never sleeps, the same apparently holds true for its independent CE dealers.
While most merchants were busy gearing up for the holiday selling season, two longtime Manhattan A/V and IT specialists, Dataision and J&R Music & Computer World, were also respectively staging a music and art charity event with Frydaze, the custom case maker, and opening a brand new pro audio department within its downtown showroom.
Datavision teamed with Norwegian company Frydaze, a producer of personalized and customized products, to offer a limted-edition line of mobile device cases featuring artwork from artists (and brothers) Mark and Paul Kostabi.
The line, called Bad Things, features 20 different Kostabi designs and is available in a limited run, only at Datavision.
To celebrate the launch Datavision hosted a two-day event that featured Paul Kostabi painting an original mural for 48 hours in the 5th Avenue superstore’s window. The mural was then auctioned off with all proceeds going to the Stella Liniado Rainbow Foundation, benefiting children’s cancer research and bone marrow testing.
Kostabi, who is also a musician, music producer and audio engineer, was a founding member of the bands Youth Gone Mad, White Zombie and Psychotica.
His paintings are included in the permanent collections of The Paterson Museum, Paterson N.J., the Guggenheim Museum and Whitney Museum Of Art in New York, and The New England Museum of Art, among others.
Kostabi’s brother Mark is also a musician and the Datavision event closed with a concert by his quartet, Midnight Child.
Mark Kostabi has performed as a soloist and with other musicians including Ornette Coleman, Jerry Marotta, Tony Levin and Puccio Panettieri. In 1984 he became a leading figure of the East Village art scene, gaining international acclaim. In 1988, he founded Kostabi World, a large New York art studio employing numerous painting assistants and idea people.
Kostabi designed the album covers for Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Use Your Illusion” album and The Ramones album “Adios Amigos,” among others, and has designed consumer products such as a Swatch watch, limited-edition vases, espresso cups, computer accessories and a Giro d’Italia jersey.
His permanent public works include a mural in Palazzo dei Priori in Arezzo, Italy, a large bronze sculpture in the central square of San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy, and a bronze portrait of Pope John Paul II in Velletri, Italy.
For J&R, the start of the holiday selling season also meant the debut of a new pro audio department within its block-long string of CE stores in lower Manhattan.
The new 3,000-square-foot shop carries DJ controllers and mixers, reference monitors, pro-grade headphones, live sound and recording mixers, microphones and portable PA systems, among other products.
The shop is located above J&R’s TV department at 31 Park Row, otherwise known as Store No. 8, within a previously underutilized space.
Company spokesman Abe Brown described pro audio as “a nice, exciting category that’s different — not too many people carry it — and it fits in with musical instruments, which we also sell.”
J&R had previously offered a limited selection of pro audio merchandise but “tremendously expanded” the assortment both in size and sophistication in response to customer demand, Brown said.
The new department officially debuted in November with grand-opening festivities that ran for several days.
The launch followed J&R’s reopening earlier that month after being closed for five days due to power outages caused by Superstorm Sandy.