While art is being made, curated, exhibited, and collected, products are being developed, manufactured, marketed and sold. But more and more often, the word “curated” is being interjected from the world of art into the world of mass-production and mass-consumption.
While the word is borrowed, curation is no less a technique of marketing and selling in the contemporary art scene than it is in the world of brands. The two worlds are learning from each other and co-mingling more than ever before. Take for example, the plethora of artist/brand collaborations that have been captivating the marketplace in recent years. The effect, as we’ve seen, can be nothing short of spectacular. We would argue that the best of these examples will be regarded historically as an art movement of our time. To recognize this and to be a part of it, fascinates and excites us to no end.
So what exactly is this movement that is blurring the lines between art and brand? We call it art fusion. It is when an artist of any kind (painter, filmmaker, designer, printmaker, musician, graffiti artist, etc.) collaborates with a brand of any kind (product, service, retail store, charity, etc.) to create a cultural artifact (a product, sculpture, mural, film, etc.) for the benefit of both. As consumers, we’ve already seen many examples and can expect to see many more as different kinds of brands dip their toes in the waters and more artists get involved.
One of the most successful art fusion collaborations was between Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama in 2012. Not only did it create incredible talk-value and welcome a whole new customer base for the brand, it catapulted the artist to top-of-mind awareness in circles she was not well known. The caché of both parties rubbed off on and worked well for each other. But does it have to be a well-established, high-end brand and a high-level artist for art fusion to work? Stay tuned for next post.