Bringing Damien into the Dining Room

 

I was sitting in restaurant the other day and my eye was drawn to a very interesting textile hanging from the wall. It was very colourful, but the medium of the textile made it muted and soft at the same time. The whole effect was comforting and homely, perfectly matching the vibe that particular place wanted to project.

For many restauranteurs, proprietors and chefs, simply having food that shines is often not enough. We have all sat in bars, cafes and restaurants, enjoying the food but feeling there’s something lacking about the decoration and vibe.

For diners, the enjoyment of any dish can be immeasurably heightened by the ambience of their environment. Not every restaurant can offer the idyllic setting of a secluded Mediterranean bay to enhance the flavour of the fish, but there is so much than can be done to improve any dining experience.

It will not be a surprise to many that, as a pioneering capital city, London is a leading light in respect of this trend. From high profile restaurants with lots of wall space to smaller-scale boutique venues, there is an opportunity for any proprietor to follow suit and use art to both speak to their clients and temper the dining experience.

Possibly the best examples of this are any of the establishments which make up the Hix restaurant group.

With a handful of venues positioned mostly around the capital, artworks form an integral part of the experience of eating some of the best food the country has to offer. Enjoy a gin Martini or a sizzling steak amidst museum quality artworks by Damien Hirst, Harland Miller or Sarah Lucas (to name but a few…).

Mark Hix has taken the relationship between eating food and appreciating art one step further by creating a fantastic art space beneath one of his restaurants, Tramshed, in Shoreditch, East London.

The Gallery sources new talent and venerates established contemporary masters whilst offering top quality food. To understand more about the space, take a look at HIX ART gallery’s website http://hixart.co.uk/about/ where they summarise this symbiotic relationship perfectly: ‘HIX ART transforms into one of the coolest dining spaces in London. We have hosted wedding receptions, corporate dinners and birthday celebrations. Decorate the room and tables as you wish, sit back and enjoy beautiful art and Tramshed’s fantastic food.’ The food and art truly seem inextricably linked.

This practice, however, is by no means a new phenomenon. In their informative article on restaurants positioning themselves as art galleries, the Independent recall the magnificent works commissioned by New York’s Seagram Building in the middle of last century; ‘the Mark Rothko paintings known as The Seagram Murals, commissioned in 1958 for the Four Seasons restaurant’ were a pioneering force for those extolling the benefits of bringing artworks out of the galleries and into the restaurants.

One of the first prominent restaurants in London to happily embrace the art gallery dining experience was Pied à Terre in 34 Charlotte Street, this Michelin star restaurant developed under the creative force of David Moore quickly attracted a HNW crowd and it was not long before artworks by significant British artists were hanging on the walls.

The Turner Prize-nominated and Fourth Plinth commissioned artist David Shrigley has for some time decorated the entire wall space at Sketch in Conduit Street, as this restaurant looks to a long-term exhibition programme for artists. Shrigley’s first series of 239 drawings, full of witty and satirical messages that are now to be replaced with 91 new colourful works and ceramic tableware emblazoned with the artist’s sharp humoured texts and drawings. This is an example of one artist’s work dominating a restaurant space.

According to WGSN.com the top 5 art inspired restaurants are: the Arts Club in Mayfair, Coya London, Hixter Bankside, Magazine and Pharmacy 2.

Each of these restaurants offer a unique approach to combining art and dining, from the exciting murals commissioned by São Paulo street artist Loro Verz and a rotating series of artists, that include works by Amrita Bilimoria’s at Coya restaurant in 118 Piccadilly to the fully immersive art-food experience of Pharmacy 2 in Pimlico.

For those who loved Damien Hirst’s original Pharmacy, this collaboration between Hirst and Hix within Hirst’s art gallery space takes it to another level by showcasing a range of top artists as well as displaying iconic works by Hirst such as DNA strands in etched glass and hand-crafted pill designs embedded within the floor.

The Rosewood Hotel has paid homage to British cartoonist and art world figure Gerald Scarfe in their in-house bar, ‘Scarfes Bar’. On their website they confirm that ‘the collection of amusing and conversation-provoking paintings…adorn the marble walls turning Scarfes Bar into a living canvas’. Visitors to the bar are encouraged to engage with the works while they sit and enjoy the wonderful selection of cocktails this institution boasts.

With so many opportunities to enjoy art and food in unison, it seems this trend has taken force. If you have a restaurant or establishment and you too can see the immediate value art can add to a setting, please contact VEDO.

Our specialist art consultants can help source art that matches your brand and ethos, so the art has an affinity with your company reinforcing your values to your client base and staff. Whether the brand and ambience are designed to appeal to a young professional crowd, an arts and creative crowd or an older more sophisticated clientele, the art you choose can really speak volumes about your company and your creative vision.

We have found that where restaurants have a strategy for their art and a collection plan, the impact can be extremely impressive. For those wishing to generate unique dialogues with their visiting clientele, we can guide you through the myriad of opportunities available to you.

You don’t need to fill the walls with Hirsts and Emins to create a wow factor, there are many different types of artworks and artists whose works sell at varying price points. From talented up and coming emerging artists to established artists, to a cross range of interesting crafts, antiques and collectibles, all of which can be in the affordable price bracket from £100-£500 for prints, ceramics, photographs, drawings and small works up to £1,000 – £5,000 for larger works such as paintings on canvas, any of which can add great interest to the space and transform the overall experience.

Commissioning bespoke art is also another option open to clients, where artists will create a work that meets a client’s specific requirements. We work with a group of very talented contemporary artists, including sculptors, painters, etchers and other visual practitioners, each of whom can create bespoke commissions to suit any kind of space. Please see our website here for more details.

It’s time to provide a more engaging dining experience and VEDO is the company to help you start that process.

 

 

The Healing Power of Art: Why Companies should tap into this.

(c) Artist Bruno Tinucci, Clarendon Fine Art Gallery

A few weeks ago, I was in the waiting area at a hospital in London anxiously awaiting the outcome of an X-ray for a very close relative of mine who was having to investigate some alarming symptoms.

As I fidgeted nervously, and my eyes darted around the deserted waiting room in the early morning hours, my eye caught these beautiful landscape paintings which I simply assumed were reproductions.

As an art consultant and someone who loves art my attention was grabbed. On closer inspection these were in fact original paintings by contemporary artists. The works were curated by Rebecca Marsham, Senior Gallery Manager of Clarendon Fine Art Gallery in Cobham.

The theme was contemporary impressionistic landscapes by two different artists, a Russian artist Maya Eventov and an Italian artist called Bruno Tinucci. Both artists use strong sun light with dramatic effect and have a bold painterly style and their paintings are very uplifting.

I then spent some time looking at the views within the paintings.

I was transported to Tinucci’s lush sunflower field and rustic farm house, with a piercing blue-sky backdrop set in a typical rural Tuscany setting. Through the sway of the flora and strong light, you could feel the cool breeze and intensity of the burning sunshine.

I then stood before two large silver birches within a woodland. Eventov’s use of painting and etching on the canvas to build up the composition layers cleverly creates a sculptural quality to her works.

All of a sudden I felt calmer, my breath had settled, and I had shifted from an anxious state to a more balanced place. My relative came back into the waiting room and I was very fortunate to find that the X-ray revealed nothing sinister.

This is the first time I experienced the potential power of art in a medical setting.

Having spent a good three years in and out of clinics, hospitals and surgeries I was used to seeing many different types of artworks in this type of environment.

Unfortunately more often than not the art was uninteresting, pops of brightly coloured abstracts or great swirls of paint, randomly placed on the walls and designed to simply brighten the space or to merely blend into the interior design scheme but with no more meaning or significance.

However, art that has true synergy with the message the clinic wants to convey has an altogether far greater impact. Art can talk to the viewer, visually stimulating the senses and can convey powerful and challenging messages.

Whether it’s just to captivate the viewer with the awesome power of Mother Nature through a gorgeous landscape that may remind us of greater things than ourselves, of life’s reassuring cycle or simply the pure beauty there is to be found in our natural world or the art is on some other topic altogether, on a conscious and sub-conscious level art speaks to us all.

There have been studies on the impact of art on the healing process and recovery of patients and many top clinics and hospitals have used art in their wards for this primary purpose and with great effect.

When the clinic gets it right as they did at this hospital, with the installation having been professionally sourced and curated, it can leave a very positive and lasting impression on the viewer, as it had done so for me.

I have since contacted the Gallerist Rebecca Marsham and asked her how she came to select these artworks and Rebecca explained to me the following:

“The Wellington Hospital approached me to buy some permanent artwork for one of their units. I know only too well the power that the right (or wrong) artwork can deliver – the positive mood it can induce which is so important for healing –  so I went on a mission to find artists that painted specifically uplifting, joyous and yet calming artwork. I thought it was important to set the right tone for all visitors to the unit: the patients, the medical staff and the visitors.”

We have found that where the art consultant has a clearly defined brief in mind and understands precisely what the client wants to achieve, this can lead to the best results. In this case creating “the right tone” and ensuring the artworks were uplifting, joyous and calming and were appropriate for all the visitors to the unit were criteria used to find artworks that would meet the client’s requirements. Having specific criteria in mind can also significantly cut down the sourcing time and time taken selecting the artworks for purchase and/or display for both the art consultant and client.

At VEDO, we find art that truly has synergy with your Company’s brand and ethos. We liaise with galleries and independent artists in the UK and internationally to help source art that can have that desired impact for clients, artworks that impart meaning and significance and can have resonance with the appropriate audience whether it is clients, staff or suppliers.

To find out more about our process, please see our services page here.

To find out more and for a free consultation contact us here

Hype Around Hirst’s New Exhibition – But to What End?

Art produced by YBA heavyweight, Damien Hirst, always seems to make the headlines. Whether it is stories about astronomical prices for pieces or tales from the artist’s own life, the newspapers and magazines are always interested in what Damien Hirst is up to.

The current feature for many is Hirst’s newest exhibition, held across two venues, the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in art hotspot, Venice, for this year’s Biennale.

Entitling the show, “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” Hirst has certainly sought to capture media attention it would seem. In an article on the show, the Guardian’s Sarah Hughes, has termed it “one of the most tightly guarded art exhibitions of recent years,”…but how has it been received?

In a fascinating short interview on the BBC’s Arts and Entertainment website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-39534654 ) Arts Editor, Will Gompertz, quizzes Hirst on the exhibition’s main exhibits and themes.

Hirst confirms that the 180 or more artefacts and objects on show are those from an imaginary ship which took place over 2000 years ago.

The items are supposed to have been part of an historic and extensive collection amassed by a great individual. On their website, the Palazzo Grassi confirm that the collector is called “Aulus Calidius Amotan – a freed slave better known as Cif Amotan II”.

Included alongside the objects are photographs showing their underwater discovery. By including these photographs, Hirst really taps into the theme of belief as we really feel we are part of a major, historic discovery of an extraordinary body of work. The exhibition itself covers the whole process from the finding of the artefacts through to displaying of them.

Hirst tells Gompertz in the BBC video that “for me the show is about belief, and you can believe whatever you want to believe.” He continues, “I’ve spent so much time on it that it’s not a lie…I just believe it.”

Back on dry land, Hirst purports of have spent over £50million on this exhibition and when we consider the materials used to create these artworks – gold, crystal and bronze are among those listed – this figure makes more sense.

Not everyone, however, is pleased to see it’s unveiling. Activist group, Animalisti, the Guardian article confirms, have been responsible for depositing over 40 kilos of animal manure outside one of the two exhibition venues, the Palazzo Grassi. Their motivation is believed to stem from Hirst’s use of animal carcasses in a number of his previous works of art.

“Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” runs between 9 April 2017 and 3 December 2017 alongside Venice Biennale’s extensive programme of events and exhibitions.

To see images either visit Hirst’s own website or take a look at the official Palazzo Grassi’s website.
It is one of the most reviewed exhibitions and is nothing short of sensational. Our VEDO art consultants will be paying a visit to see whether we too are captivated by the make believe world of Hirst. Watch this space for more details.

VEDO presents magnificent sculptures at Henley Festival – July 2017

VEDO is very proud to be participating in Henley’s Art and Music Festival this week by showcasing 8 leading sculptors at the Festival from Wednesday 5th July until Sunday 9th July.

We have selected a few exceptional British and International sculptors to represent and have endeavoured to show the wide range of styles and scale you can have in sculpture from small indoor works to the monumental, from abstract to figurative, also providing educational information about various pricing, different mediums of sculptural works and the commissioning process.

About the Sculptors

We are showing a stunning kinetic work by Ivan Black, whose piece has been specifically designed for the festival. Ivan’s work is wondrous, his conception of movement is fascinating and sophisticated incorporation of lighting and colour is nothing short of joyous and magical. This is a sculptor who rightfully deserves his work to sit alongside the great kinetic sculptors found in the museums of the world.

(c) Sculptor Ivan Black

Simon Gudgeon has achieved recognition for his monumental works, such as his stunning giant bronze Swan at the Serpentine close to Princess Diana’s fountain memorial and his reflective bronze heads entitled ‘Search for Enlightenment’ displayed nearby in Knightsbridge. To see his beautiful smooth and paired down depictions from nature one should visit his elegant sculpture park in Dorset where he displays a range of his large scale sculptural works in a breathtaking setting.

(c) Sculptor Simon Gudgeon

Sally Fawkes and Richard Jackson are exceptional British glass sculptors. They have been represented by the best of British art dealers and similarly their works have found themselves into major collectors homes internationally. Having mastered their unique technique over decades they remain leaders in using the glass medium. Excitingly they have taken their works to monumental scale over the last few years and have produced magnificent pieces, such as their most recent commission of a monumental work shown at Salisbury Cathedral and a stunning commissioned work for the Shard.

(c) Sculptors Sally Fawkes and Richard Jackson

Mel Fraser’s beautiful abstract alabaster works are perfect for any elegant garden setting or luxurious home. She is represented by a gallerist and has become a recognised name for the interior design sector for her elegant abstract works that compliment a wide variety of settings. There is a stunning purity to her forms that provide endless joy and contemplation and her skill is apparent from her ability to work large pieces of stone or alabaster into paper like winged forms that are sometimes worked so finely that they become almost translucent.

(c) Sculptor Mel Fraser

For smaller scale interior works we are showing pieces by Philip Hearsey. Philip’s works are timeless and elegant and hark back to the best forms in ancient times, in particular ancient Egypt or Cycladic times. From beautiful arcs or circles or baton like shapes, his sophisticated use of form creates a strong sense of order and his works have a reassuringly calm and restful feel to them. Hearsey works in a variety of mediums and also adds a stunning creative touch that is highly distinctive, usually playing with the patina of the bronze to create an other-worldly feel.

(c) Sculptor Philip Hearsey

 

Johannes von Stumm has produced a range of stunning corporate commissions and public works from his winged angel for Nike to his Big Mother and Child stainless steel series that cuts the landscape like a knife leaving you to contemplate the essence of human nature set within the landscape. We are showing his very clever smaller geometric works that are a sophisticated combination of media often glass, bronze and stone. These works are highly distinctive works and are extremely contemporary in feel and work exceedingly well in corporate and luxury spaces.

(c) Sculptor Johannes von Stumm

Last but by no means least, a star of the event is Paul Day. He is representing himself at the Festival but we have the great pleasure of hosting his works on our stand and supporting this huge talent.
He needs no introduction having done several famous Royal monuments, from the Queen Mother’s memorial, Battle of Britain to the Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial.

His highly detailed figurative work is hugely accessible, fiendishly clever and demonstrates his extraordinary skill in rendering such great detail that translates so lucidly and perfectly in bronze form. His work demands attention and for that reason his works will stand the test of time in monumental form. We are pleased to announce that at the fair guests can see a range of works, demonstrating that his work is affordable and achievable for many collectors too.

(c) Sculptor Paul Day

VEDO see this event as a truly wonderful opportunity for us to show some larger monumental works in a stunning setting and also showcase some smaller indoor works that would look wonderful in any home. Our goal is to bring to great many people beautiful and accessible sculpture.

Sculpture is often an overlooked medium in preference to 2D forms such as painting, photography and prints. It is perceived to be expensive and difficult to place. We feel that sculpture can add tremendous value and make a wonderful statement in a wide range of environments from the home, the office or to a public space.

Commissioning bespoke sculptures for public works or for corporate spaces is our forte at VEDO and we understand that it can be an extremely challenging and complex project to manage. However our skilled art advisers take the stress out of the process, make it highly enjoyable and help clients achieve their creative vision by working effectively with the sculptors, designers and clients.

For more details about how we can help your company in such a project please do visit our website www.vedocorporateart.com and contact us through the contact page.

For a copy of our new sculpture brochure to see the different sculptors we represent and the types of work we can help commission for your clients or your projects please contact us.

Hull Serves as Setting for Significant New Photography Project

2017 is the year Hull will be celebrated as the United Kingdom’s City of Culture. There are numerous ways artists and supporters are marking the occasion, however some appear to be pushing the boundaries more than others.

Spencer Tunick is one of those extraordinary artists whose contribution to this celebration of art and culture has featured prominently across the media.

Tunick is an American born photographer who creates complex socio-political images often depicting the naked human form. The works he has created for display in Hull this year extend on this theme and will appear in Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery under the exhibition title, ‘SKIN’. The works were commissioned by the Art Gallery specifically for this prestigious event and are on display in the flagship exhibition.

To call them eye-catching would not do them justice. His works are captivating.Tunick has worked with 3,200 people, each nude, and photographed them in iconic local settings. The piece entitled ‘Sea of Hull’ shows the nude individuals painted in a palette of blues. When viewed together as a group, the nudes transform into a body water, wrapped around magnificent architectural monuments and settings.

In an article dated 21st April 2017, the BBC recalled comments made by Spencer Tunick from 2016 as he discussed the works: “The Sea of Hull installation was one of the most fantastic projects I’ve ever done, and it was inspiring to be able to intertwine the City’s maritime heritage against an urban backdrop throughout the whole piece.”

The works are, therefore, a fascinating mix of a thoroughly modern installation with strong symbolic ties to the City’s important history.

Producing works of this kind, however, is not without it’s complications. On Spencer Tunick’s own professional website the photographer indicates the issues associated with creating this type of artwork, particularly within America. “In order to make his work without the threat of arrest” the website confirms, “the artist took his work abroad. He has not undertaken a group installation on the streets of New York in over fifteen years,” as a result of a series of police led arrests. In light of these difficulties, we might view this new body of work, shot in and around the public areas of Hull city centre, with an additional admiration and respect.

Shown alongside Tunick’s works in the exhibition that runs from 22nd April until 13th August 2017, are other works that concentrate on the nude form, works by Lucian Freud and sculptor Ron Mueck. There will also be on display a preparatory study for Edouard Manet’s controversial Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe.

VEDO will keep eyes on Hull’s arts and cultural festivities as it continues to enjoy and celebrate its tenure as the United Kingdom’s City of Culture 2017.

Photographer Showcasing – Jacques Godard’s work in ‘Taking in the View’ Exhibition

(c) Artist Jacques Godard

Jacques Godard is a prolific photographer whose works include a variety of subjects, including natural still lives, nudes and studies of bull fighting. He has exhibited at many galleries and institutions globally.

VEDO Corporate Art Service is proud to be showing a stunning work entitled ‘Genesis’ in the forthcoming landscape exhibition ‘Taking in the View’ that runs at the gallery from 10th March until 8th April 2017.

Quite often, Godard creates pieces in large format which helps make these photographic works very engaging. Some of our favourite of Godard’s works are part of the enigmatic series entitled Genesis.

In this series, Godard uses a specific photographic process known as pixoplasty to generate the very recognisable look this body of works possesses. These pieces are highly creative with a real painterly quality, muted palette and natural subject matter.

Describing the process, Godard asserts that “The original photographic image serves as a matrix for a study of its evocations. The scanned image is unstructured: its original constituents, pixels, provide me a material as malleable as clay.”

In his Genesis series, Godard captures images of the natural world from La Plaine des Maures, in Var-France, from which he generates both coloured and black and white prints. Both sets focus on the themes of the creation of nature and apocalypse. These themes are really emphasised by Godard’s painterly effect.

For Godard, the coloured works are more akin to creation of new worlds and the black and white more relevant to the theme of apocalypse. Equally, both groups within this series are quite serene and show a world that seems to be separate from any human intervention or interference.

Godard works in other methods and has both historically and more recently experimented with the process of gum bichromate. The effects are quite different from the delicacy he achieves using the pixoplasty method, but they are equally as engaging.

He reports, “During 1982, through the works of Edward Steichen, I discovered the existence of the printing process with “gum bichromate”. I felt that it can give me the opportunity to obtain the images I was looking for.”

Godard employed this technique to capture images of the natural world, exotic plant life and sand dunes. His works depicting the dunes are totally captivating and show an almost alien environment. The layers of sand and details of small plants show an environment that is at once recognisable but also quite distinct. The subject matter and close frame compositions work very well with the image’s use of black and white.

Godard’s works are highly collectible and are found in museum collections. His works have featured in several noted exhibitions across France and most recently in Nice.

Godard was recently invited to participate in a prestigious exhibition celebrating the 70 years of the Mediterranean Union for Modern Art, founded in 1946 under the presidency of Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard, in a large group exhibition in Menton (France) at the Palais de L’europe.

He is currently showing work in “Vision Future”, an exhibition organized by UMAM (Mediterranean Union for Modern Art) and city of Menton. Held in the centre of Nice in a large renowned specialised ophthalmological complex, Godard is showing works with 3 other artists, who have been selected through a competition organised by the City of Menton. It is running until 31 March 2017 in Nice.

Godard’s photographs are very unique in style, are elegant and evocative. Often focusing on the land or natural subjects, they would fit in a variety of settings, from luxury properties to Corporate office spaces.

If you would like to see artworks by this artist, please contact VEDO or attend Gallery Different, 14 Percy Street where pieces from both the Genesis series and others using the gum bichromate technique can be viewed.