British artist Darren Cullen recently erected a pop-up shop called “Pocket Money Loans” in London that claims to offer fast, high-interest loans to kids ages three and older. The pseudo store is a satirical art installation that criticizes exploitative payday loan companies that offer extremely short-term loans at unreasonable interest rates, driving many unwitting customers into debt in the UK.
While the artist says that most people understand that the work is a parody, “Pocket Money Loans” has provoked outrage in the local community (Cullen’s Tumblr is rife with hate mail and even legal threats). With its simple, generic-looking logos and familiar color scheme, the piece mimics the ways that UK payday loan companies use kid-friendly branding to mask their more nefarious business practices. Take a look at a few photos from the installation and read Cullen’s manifesto to learn more about the intent behind this work.