SIOUX CITY — If the Weeknd wins Grammys for any of his three nominations on April 3, the R&B singer-songwriter celebrate the victory with a Quarter Pounder purchased from the nearest McDonald’s drive-thru?
Probably not, but this scenario would put a smile on the face of Caleb Roggenbuck, a budding artist and internet influencer.
The 20-year-old Morningside University graphic design and marketing sophomore has completed a series of art pieces depicting his favorite music performers, made with wrappers from iconic fast food places.
For instance, Roggenbuck’s multimedia portrait of the Weeknd had the “Blinding Lights” singer in front of food packets coming from the Golden Arches of Mickey D’s.
Similarly, an image of a feather boa-wearing Ariana Grande gains a bit of buzziness with a Starbucks coffee-inspired backdrop, while Post Malone was clearly thinking “outside of the bun” in a painting, designed with multiple packets of Taco Bell hot sauce .
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Well, how about a painting of Drake, with the ultra-smooth rapper hoisting a pair of gimlet glasses against a Culver’s logo?
Wait, can anyone actually picture the Canadian-born Drake setting foot in the restaurant chain best known for its signature ButterBurger?
“I’d like to think Drake would enjoy food from Culver’s,” Roggenbuck, a Sioux Falls native, explained. “But that may just be the Midwesterner in me.”
Fair enough. However, Roggenbuck is serious about his “Rappers & Wrappers” series, which was recently on display at Morningside’s Eppley Art Gallery.
“It started with one painting that was made specifically for a class,” he said. “That one got a good response. So, I decided to continue with the series.”
Suffice it to say, Roggenbuck has a handle on what the general public likes.
Not only does he have more than 400,000 TikTok followers, Roggenbuck also maintains Morningside’s TikTok feed.
“Right now, Caleb has more TiKTok followers than the University,” Morningside marketing and communications associate vice president Carly Hanson said with a smile. “We’re hoping his celebrity rubs off on us.”
Indeed, Roggenbuck was an early adapter to TikTok, using the video-focused, social networking service as a way to share music, dance moves and, even, fitness routines with his many followers.
“I originally used TikTok for entertainment, but it is also a great way to get a message across,” he said.
Which is exactly what Roggenbuck wants to do after he graduates from Morningside.
“Companies are using social media as a way to brand themselves in a fast, interactive way,” he explained. “I’d like to handle social media and branding as a career.”
If truth be told, corporations can learn a thing or two from social media savvy individuals like Roggenbuck as well as from celebrities like Ariana Grande, who connect with fans on several social platforms.
“It would be awesome for Ariana or any celebrity will see and like my art pieces,” he said. “That would be so cool.”
Who knows? Maybe, pop rapper Doja Cat — whom Roggenbuck wants to feature in his next piece — will reach out to him?
“I do know that Doja Cat said she is already a fan of the food at Taco Bell,” Roggenbuck said. “There might be a natural tie-in with that.”