ABOUT THE WRITER: Tove Langridge is an international art dealer, curator and painter who owns TW Fine Art Gallery.
Fine art is bursting into everyday life through innovative collaborations between artists and big businesses. It’s a concept that was once perceived by artists as ‘selling out’ but times are changing and a growing number of contemporary artists are keen to collaborate with their corporate counterparts if the brand alignment feels right. These collaborations are pushing the boundaries of what art is, while enabling artists to reach broader audiences. By thoughtfully incorporating fine art into product and visual merchandising, art becomes part of the everyday experience for the modern consumer. Perhaps art was never meant to just hang on the wall.
French label Hermès initiated the Hermès Vitrine D’Artiste artist window project, collaborating with cutting edge contemporary artists to bring art out of the gallery and into the windows of their boutiques. The creations fused product with artwork, creating a visual smorgasbord where fashion and art united for urban passers by. Most recently the label collaborated with contemporary artist Ed Granger who designed a range of architectural environmental pieces for the company’s Madison Avenue flagship store in New York City.
Locally based luxury-flooring company Gibbon Group have also taken the spirit of artistic collaboration and run with it. The company has handpicked three contemporary artists to design a series of Art Rugs, fusing each artist’s creative vision with their luxurious Tretford goat hair flooring.
Crafted from hand cut vibrantly coloured goats hair, the material pairs perfectly with the work of minimalist artists like Greg MacLaughlin who designed a range of five rugs in 25 colour schemes. The rugs can be scaled and configured to the customer’s needs, a perfect conceptual pairing with the artists work.
Collaborations like Hermès and Gibbon Group ventures are highly thought out, symbiotically fusing their brand with the artist’s work. It’s a cultural trend that is a win-win situation. The artist is paid to bring their innovative work into our everyday experience without sacrificing their creative integrity, while the brand benefits from delivering a heightened experience. Call it evolution: art is moving from the walls into our environments just as the first land animals crawled out of the ocean to inhabit the land. And we love it.
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