The discourse around brand-artist collaborations, and more generally, the new ways that companies interact with creative culture, often focuses on those two positions exclusively. The brand and the artist. The corporations and the culture-makers.
In museum stores around the world recently we have begun to see these “Museum League” scarves. Can you introduce the project and how you came to the idea? What makes the museum store an interesting space to intervene in for you?
It all started from the consideration that museums are becoming places where the sense of community, the process of identification, passion and faith take place.
BMW has been inviting artists since 1975 to create its Art Cars. What were the brand's motivations in starting the Art Journey in 2015?
We asked ourselves if we could make a difference with cultural engagement and not add to the “bling bling” and exuberance of the 60 billion dollar art market. BMW has been a partner of the arts for half a century - without any vested interest in the field or our own corporate art collection.
Above the Fold: From Department Store to Art Production House
The New York Times spent some time in Paris this week (downtime from the runway shows, no doubt) visiting the construction site that will soon become Lafayette Anticipations, a new space for the Fondation Galeries Lafayette.
"If street art could now reach both high and mass culture alike, then brands could calibrate these flexible associations to fit with their messages and needs. More collaborations ensued with “art world-approved” street artists: MOCA x Levi’s featuring Kenny Scharf and KR, Hennessy and Nike with Os Gemeos, Louis Vuitton with Banksy."
K11 Art Foundation, the non-profit organization founded by Adrian Cheng, has been promoting Chinese contemporary artists and curators through collaborations with leading institutions such as the Pompidou, MoMA PS1, the Royal Academy, and Palais de Tokyo. Here Adrian talks about art and branding in the development of K11 Art Malls and C Ventures, his new fund focusing on tech-driven brands.
Los Angeles-based artist Carter Mull creates multi-media images by re-photographing and altering existing pictures. His works are in numerous museum collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, LACMA and Hammer Museums in Los Angeles. Recently, Mull was approached by GUESS through his project Eye Eye Productions, which functions as both a photography bureau and a brand collaborator. Here the artist shares how this new collaboration is related to his previous art practices, and his reflections on the interrelationships between urban culture and fashion.
Amalia Ulman is an Argentinian-born, Spanish-raised artist based in Los Angeles whose works explore contemporary desire and anxiety, often utilizing social networks as a medium. Her performances, videos, and photography have been shown at the New Museum, the Tate Modern, and the Rockbund Museum, among others. Her series “Excellences and Perfections” has been called “the first Instagram masterpiece” and will be the subject of a new book forthcoming from Prestel in spring 2018. Here, she shares her candid perspectives on the brand-artist relationship, including her 2015 collaboration with Gucci during her performance “Privilege.”
Simon Denny, the representative artist of New Zealand at the 56th Venice Biennial, is known for his research-based projects and exhibitions which look into the condition and production of knowledge through imagery used by institutions and corporate. In 2017, the artist showed his works at Hammer Museum, L.A. and OCAT, Shenzhen. Here Simon explains how brands and logos serve as visual documentation of today’s commercial culture and how they are re-contextualized in his art projects. He also shares his view on the difference between private and public sponsorship.
With over 30 years of a genuine relationship with the global artistic community, Absolut Art has been evolving through new initiatives like the Absolut Art Award, the Art Bars that pops up around the world and various artist collaborations. Saskia Neuman, Global Art Manager at Absolut and the director of the award, shares the brand’s goals with art engagement.
UBS holds one of the most distinguished corporate art collections around the globe, and recently presented The Art Market 2017 annual report with Art Basel in Miami. In our post Art Basel Miami report, Deborah Ehrlich, the Regional Manager APAC for the UBS Art Collection shares her view on how the collection is related to the functions and corporate culture of the bank.
Founded in London in 1997, Protein is a multidisciplinary insights and creative strategy agency that has worked with some of the world’s leading brands like Nike, Google, and Anheuser-Busch. They recently released their 2017 Youth Report, exploring the ways that Generation Z perceives and relates to brands, with sometimes surprising results. This resonated with Culture™’s own interest in younger generations, particularly as they become the creators, decision-makers, and audiences of cultural collaborations. We invited Protein’s Insights Director Jamie McCracken to share a few key takeaways from this year’s study below.
Larys Frogier is a curator, critic, art historian, and director of Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai. Earlier in October, the exhibition of the four finalist artists for 2017’s Hugo Boss Asia Art Award opened at RAM, showcasing the third success in the partnership between the brand and the museum. Last week, Hangzhou-based video artist Li Ming was announced as the award's recipient for his immersive multi-channel narrative installation. Here, Frogier shares the history of the award and his views on the surprising prospects of corporate sponsorship for museums in Asia today.
Claire Staebler, the associate curator at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, shares her reflections on China’s private art museums after co-curating the exhibition “Bentu” with UCCA in Beijing last year. Before that, Claire worked with the Palais de Tokyo and Fondation d’entreprise Ricard on multiple exhibitions, which represented the new model of brand-involved art projects that she sees as the trend of our time.
András Szántó is a brand advisor, curator, scholar, who has helped to design and continues to advise some of the most respected brand-initiated cultural projects for over a decade. In 2016, along with two partners he launched Culture Projects, which publishes original research on art and culture trends, including a survey of international brands’ engagement with the arts. Here, Szántó shares his thoughts on the lineage of brand patronage and the artist’s relationship with patrons.
On October 26, Culture™ was honored to host a special panel discussion and workshop at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in NYC. Nearly 200 festival attendees participated in our sold-out sessions, and heard candid insights from artist Shantell Martin, NEW INC director Julia Kaganskiy, and WeTransfer president Damian Bradfield. Full video documentation will be available soon.