For art and brands to work well, Bonacossa continues, companies wishing to invest in contemporary art must be guided in the best possible way. “If you don’t walk in through the right door, you end up in the Portofino art gallery,” she smiles. And with all due respect to the Portofino Art Gallery, this is certainly not how a company like Xiaomi wants to connect with the public.
On the other hand, not all artists can work with all brands. “We must arrange the marriage, explains Bonacossa, and above all leave room for the artist’s freedom, a form of mutual respect that brands sometimes have to learn. “An artist needs to trust the other party”.
Finally, this type of collaboration is not necessarily suitable for everyone. The director of Artissima remembers the case of videographer Arthur Jafa who, a few years ago, at a very late stage in his career, had been entrusted with a project by Nike. “We had talked about it here at Artissima, he was very hesitant”. On the one hand, he was drawn to the possibility of opening up his art to such a vast territory, but on the other, he was unsure whether he would remain himself if he accepted. “In the end, I think he refused.”