Rudi Gernreich was a fashion designer known for creating iconic garments such as the thong bikini. In addition to being a renowned designer, Gernreich was a co-founder of the Mattachine Society, one of the earliest gay activist organizations in the United States.
Note: According to Nancy Reddin Kienholz, her husband loved bartering. In Kienholz: A Retrospective, Kienholz described his inspiration for this series. He needed a screwdriver and asked himself, "Why can't an artist just trade for what he wants without running downtown all of the time to get it?" The next day he produced a small watercolor with the stamped words For Nine Screwdrivers. He gave the watercolor to his neighbor in exchange for nine screwdrivers valued at $14.30. Over the years, he produced several watercolors in the same format, each a record of what was traded. Eventually, he began trading the work for money. He rubber-stamped an amount ranging from $1 to $10,000 and made the highest and lowest a pair thinking that someone might want to buy them together. According to his logic, if two similar sized works were purchased at the same time, they should be worth the same amount. The purchaser of the $10,000 work would double his or her money by purchasing the pair. This would elevate the previous watercolors to the same price regardless of the face value.