Like a treasure hidden in plain sight, MPC is located right in
Armory Square, just three floors above the hustle and bustle. Tall
windows let lots of light into this urban loft with its old brick, high
ceilings and hardwood floors. There’s plenty of room to roam around
among the racks.
Nathan Schafer, the owner and sole employee of the store, is a true
believer in the DIY aesthetic. Tucked behind the register is the
machine he uses to produce limited run silkscreen projects. He’s done
print work for local bands and local charities, and now his clever
designs—kitschy pinups, Atari joysticks and smashed strawberries among
them—are available on garments and accessories in the shop.
Schafer also strongly supports other local and independent
designers. He is a rare retailer of Sailor Jerry, the godfather of
American tattoo art, and Metal Couture, whose designs combine skulls
and lush baroque line art. MPC also carries larger brands like Ed
Hardy, Mavi, Buffalo, Vigoss. And you can’t find a better selection of
“I used to have a problem with authority. Now I’m my own boss,”
Schafer says. Now he reaps the benefits of his own responsibility, hard
work and creativity instead of some corporate bigwig.
Modern Pop Culture also serves as an informal gallery for Schafer’s
network of local underground artists; paintings and objects hang high
on the walls. In many cases they are for sale and some of the images
are available as posters.