The Garden of Denim


I love Diesel’s latest print campaign, which borrows “fruitfully” from Hieronymous Bosch’s well-known painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. Scholars have suggested that Bosch’s painting is a depiction of the Garden of Eden had the fall of Adam and Eve never happened — and the ensuing chaotic debauchery; unbridled lust as man’s downfall. I would suggest that Diesel’s campaign comes from the opposite direction, harkening back to the sexually carefree 70’s. Diesel’s point of view is that their brand is an oasis of sexual expression — wardrobe malfunction be damned — where all breasts should feel free to escape. All-in-all an eye-catching tease with more than a few direct nods to the early 16th century Dutch master. Check out these details:

In the Bosch grouping, a man sucks nectar out of a textured fruit resembling a cactus and a woman sits nearby with her legs wrapped suggestively around a ripe fruit. In the Diesel ad, a man appears to nibble at the end of a cactus, while the woman behind him cradles a suggestively erect cactus between her legs.

cactus1.jpg cactus2.jpg

Fish in art often represent fertility, creativity, and the unconscious mind. Sounds like a wet dream to me:

fish1.jpg fish2.jpg

Speckled fruit or speckled flower? Either will do for a good face sucking:

embracingfruit.jpg embracingfruit2.jpg

Finally, fleshy hunks getting fed by big peckers is just as just as hot today as it was then:

birdfeeder1.jpg birdfeeder2.jpg

The campaign, whose tagline is Nature: Love It While It Lasts, waxes nostalgic for an Eden that only exists in the minds of denim purveyors. Buy our jeans now! Nonetheless, it seems like a perfect time to channel Bosch, as our world teeters on the brink of a global warming crisis and spins forward into an era where privacy, sexuality, and religion are dominating social issues.

Thanks BFT, I hadn’t seen this article, but it seems to be an interesting sign of the times.


  1. says

    I really liked this ad campaign when it started a few months ago, it was a nice change from the slightly de-saturated “Work Hard” ads, a nice burst of color (and flesh) for the spring with what I think is more compelling layouts (the layout of the ads, not the photography used in them, which I thought was well framed) and more interesting typography.

    I’m not really thrilled with any of the clothes though. I’ve stopped by both my neighborhood Diesel and the flagship store downtown a few times this season and the only thing I’ve seen new that I liked was a tank top that I was not going to spend $49 for, though I picked up another pair of Rabox jeans in one of the new washes/colors they’ve added.

  2. says

    GREAT post Andy!
    My own experience with the original Bosch painting was during an acid trip. I think I stared at that thing for 5 hours. I particularly like the lady putting flowers in the guy’s butt next to the one holding the fish in the lower right. Now THAT would have been fun for Diesel to do!

  3. Alex Leibowitz says

    It disgusts me. All these perfect bodies indulging in wanton lust. It reminds me of how rarely I have sex and how disastrous it is when I do.

  4. Charly Fugas says

    Original BUT…….
    I do not like the model’s faces.
    What i mean is that their expressions are really boring.’
    From New York City,

    Sonorense Charly

  5. Charly Fugas says

    Original BUT…….
    I do not like the model’s faces.
    What i mean is that their expressions are really boring.’
    From New York City,

    Sonorense Charly