Though Death & Co has worked with many artists over the years, our first collaboration dates back to before the opening of the original Manhattan location.

In 2006, founder Dave Kaplan was working at Vice magazine's retail store in SoHo when he met the artist Brendan Donnelly, who was selling t-shirts and displaying his artwork at the shop. Dave told Brendan about the bar he was planning to open in the East Village, and asked him to create some illustrations inspired by pre-Prohibition propaganda. After finding some early 20th-century etchings, drawings, and photos at the New York Public Library, Brendan reinterpreted them into four illustrations that were eventually emblazoned on t-shirts, tote bags, and prints.

Now, some 16 years later, we've resurrected one of Brendan's original drawings on our 16th Anniversary Tee. In the intervening years Brendan moved to Los Angeles, where his career has flourished. His illustrations have appeared on apparel for such as Adidas, Converse, and McQ. He's also exhibited his mixed-media collages and work in multiple solo and group shows around the world (his most recent solo exhibit, "I Wanted to be an Actor, but I Could Never Remember My Lines," was also turned into a book). 

We're thrilled to work with Brendan once again, and hope it won't be another 16 years before our next collaboration. 

Check out some of Brendan's work below.




February 17, 2023 — Nick Fauchald