The NYTimes has this interesting take on what luxury brands are trying to do to get deeper into the art world:
Without certain brand sponsors and competitions, some artists say it would be more difficult to break into the extremely competitive art world. Traditionally, galleries — and the coterie of high-end art consultants who buy from them — have been the arbiters of artistic talent and one of the few gateways to critical acclaim and commercial success in the art world. To some extent, corporations have become an added gateway — a reality that has led to certain amount of concern in art circles. The fear is that corporate interests could compromise artistic integrity.
When Ruinart, the official Champagne sponsor of Art Basel, approached the artist Georgia Russell about designing Champagne packaging for a limited edition of 2,325 bottles, she was initially ambivalent. “I’m a fine artist and this was a little a bit out of what I normally do. I don’t want to become like Jeff Koons,” said Ms. Russell, referring to that artist’s collaborations with companies such as H&M, Dom Pérignon and BMW, on everything from leather handbags to the body of a car.
But Ms. Russell agreed to the project, which Ruinart, a division of the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, commissions every year from a different artist. Her sculpture was displayed in the Collectors Lounge at Art Basel Miami; she hopes the exposure will be good for her career. Ms. Russell’s work was represented at Art Basel Miami by Galerie Karsten Greve at Art B, which has three locations across Europe. Even so, she said it would have been hard to turn down Ruinart because, among other reasons, it has such a wide marketing reach and budget.
The Brands in Art Basel’s Orbit (NYTimes.com)