We recognized that there was an opportunity for the cultural sector to specialize its fundraising. The sports industry has been so successful at generating income from sponsorship, and I thought that by using the techniques and the approach that the sports industry has used, we can help museums and other organizations maximize their income streams. The cultural sector is hugely undervalued by potential sponsors.
Each year, the longstanding champagne house Ruinart commissions an artist to engage with the brand and its history, presenting the work first in Paris, before it tours to some 31 art fairs around the world. We met Frédéric Dufour, president of Ruinart, before the opening of Art Basel in Hong Kong, the first stop on this extensive circuit. He spoke of art, champagne, and emotion.
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.
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.
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.
Earlier this year, Chinese artist Cao Fei unveiled her design for the 18th BMW Art Car, programmed with the tools of cutting-edge AR technology. Looking back at Cao' s history, collaborations with brands and manufacturing sites have always contributed to her growth as an artist. Here, Cao Fei shares her feelings on the significance of brands' support of art projects, and observations of the transformations happening in China’s factories that reverberate throughout the world.
Earlier this year Max Wolf oversaw the transition of Red Bull Studios to Red Bull Arts, where he is now Chief Curator. The exhibition program is wildly experimental and, unlike many brand-backed art foundations, embraces its freedom from the art market and collecting system, emphasizing richly ephemeral and experiential shows and events. Wolf sees corporate support as an important supplement to the art world, offering new routes for artists to realize important ideas.
Art dealer and curator Jeffrey Deitch is a true pioneer of the charged landscape where art meets commerce and pop culture. From his gallery Deitch Projects, to his provocative tenure at L.A.’s MOCA, to his new adventures (including Art For All, a recent collaboration with Uniqlo), he’s championed an entire generation of artists unafraid to blur the lines with brands, and supported new models of hybrid engagement.
Takashi Murakami may not have been the first artist to work with a brand, but he was certainly the first to integrate a luxury boutique into a museum exhibition. Looking back on that event ten years later—a decade in which he has only become more successful within the art world and more promiscuous beyond it—he reflects on the role that commercial collaborations can have within a wider artistic practice.