The New York Mets Will Give Away Merch by Artists Joel Mesler and Rashid Johnson

The swag will be handed out to the first 15,000 fans at two games this season.

New York Mets tote bag designed by Joel Mesler. Photo courtesy of the New York Mets.

The Steve Cohen-owned New York Mets has announced its promotional merchandise for the 2024 season, which will feature collaborations with artists Joel Mesler and Rashid Johnson.

Mesler, known primarily for his vivid  canvases that blend text and graphic patterns, has designed a beach tote that will be handed out to the first 15,000 fans at the Mets game against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field. An image of the tote shared on the Major League Baseball website shows five baseballs painting like inflatable balloons with the words “New York” in the team’s signature orange over a blue background, possibly the bottom of a pool.

“It’s just the perfect Mets image,” Mesler told ARTNews. “I thought it would be nice for 15,000 people to walk around with balloon baseballs.”

The Rashid Johnson collaboration, a bucket hat, will also be handed out at Citi Field to the first 15,000 fans at the team’s game against the Colorado Rockies on July 13. The MLB website did not yet provide a picture of what that giveaway will look like.

Tickets for the games with the artist-designed giveaways are listed online for as low as $25—a far way from the artists’ auction records. An acrylic painting by Mesler sold at Christie’s New York in May 2022 for nearly $1 million, more than 505 percent above estimates, the Artnet Price Database shows. A Rashid Johnson painting sold for a whopping $3 million at a Christie’s sale in New York later that year.

Early in 2023, dealer-turned-painter Mesler showcased his new body of work at “The Rabbis” at Cheim & Read, featuring a raft of rabbinical portraits. He also opened his first solo show in Asia, at Shanghai’s Long Museum.

Johnson’s Bruise Painting ‘Message to Our Folks’ (2023), which interrogates the African American experience using his signature abstraction, is currently on view in the Heritage Hall of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Last November, the artist also unveiled the grid-like installation, New Poetry, at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art.


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