There is a long history of artists working with business. From the Medicis in the renaissance to institutions like the Catholic Church and now modern corporations, many great and revered works of art have come from these relationships.
There has however always been a question over the line between an artist’s artistic integrity and the patron’s desire. There’s also tension between delivering something for ‘the market’ or trailblazing something new.
With a genuine purpose and respect for each other, can this be solved?
We asked Yioryios, an emerging Australian/New Zealand artist on how he struck the right balance when constructing a sculpture for ANZ.
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“Part of the commission was to use ANZ credit cards which I found really fascinating both for its Pop art element but also I got to experiment with how I wanted to construct the sculpture,” Yioryios told BlueNotes on video.
“It was a great collaboration between ANZ and myself using that as a way of joining two cultures of art and banking in one.”
“I’ve never been able to have a work that’s larger than myself and really embody myself into this sculpture by cleaning it up…and making sure it’s all intact.
“It’s great to be able to dance around the sculpture while creating it.”
Yioryios’ work was commissioned by ANZ shortly after Shayne Elliott began as CEO in 2016.
Elliott said when he started in the role, ANZ “made a series of changes about who we are and the way we behave.”
“One small part of this was to make a better connection from our business and people to the art we have installed onsite,” he said in a note to staff. “So we went through our archives and storage, and sold a bunch of corporate art that no longer fits with ANZ. “
The bank reinvested a small amount of that money into two pieces from two young Australasian artists – Yioryios one of them – with the set criteria including “a real connection to who or what we are,” Elliott said.
Ha Bui is a contributing editor at BlueNotes
The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.