August 1, 2021

The brands, the new patrons

The brands, the new patrons

The work of the Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, «Vhils», explores the different layers that hide what each one has inside. Some are conscious and others not so much. "What we see in the first instance, has little to do with what we will find inside," explains Fabienne Moreau, responsible for heritage and cultural actions of the cognac brand Hennessy, on a guided tour of the exhibition "Making the invisible visible »that the street artist has prepared for the brand at his visitor center in Cognac, France. In a world where social networks are increasingly responsible for unmasking both locals and strangers, brands have decided to show an artistic, sensitive and cultural layer to make consumers fall in love. Like Hennessy, many have decided to bet on art.

Some of Farto's most characteristic works are abandoned walls intervened with explosives. Once they are detonated, they leave spectacular murals. "The most beautiful can be inside, behind several layers," continues Moreau. In the case of cognac, explains Fabien Levieux, ambassador of the brand, "we can not innovate in the content of the bottle, with more than 200 years of tradition, so we decided to invite artists to intervene the container." In addition to the exhibition, the Portuguese artist has made a special edition for the bottle of the V.S. The intervention bottles launched by the brand have become objects of desire in some of its most important markets, such as China, the United States and Latin America. From being a liquor, the product they offer has become a work of art, thanks to the interpretation of it that artists do. They have also worked with designer Marc Newson or street artist JonOne.

Another company that decided to join the artistic layer is Alhambra, which for two years has promoted young Spanish art through its platform of contemporary creation "create / without / haste". With her she has participated in ARCO, where she awards the Cervezas Alhambra de Arte Emergente prize, and other fairs of the Spanish State. In addition, he created a musical and other gastronomic circuit, under the name of "Momentos Alhambra". Recently, the brewery brought six of the 20 works they have made to the city of origin of the beer: Granada. Works by Mau Morgó, Pier Paolo Ferrari, Álvaro Catalán de Ocón, Raquel Rodrigo, Nacho Carbonell and Martín Azúa have flooded the streets of the city.

Almost all the work of these Spanish and Italian artists (Ferrari) is outside of Spain; the sponsorship of Alhambra has brought them here. "We wanted to bring to life the philosophy of the brand, we make beer in an artisan way, we wanted to choose artists who work in the same way", explains Laura Quero, Marketing Director of Alhambra. Avant-garde works of Esparto de Blanca, glass, embroidered silk or cement have put in view of the public a sensitive layer of the brand, which Mahou bought a few years ago.

"When I received a call from Spain to make an order, I had a lot of disbelief, because I work a little here," shares Nacho Carbonell, a Valencian artist who has been living in Holland for more than 10 years. "Working with Alhambra allowed me to develop a product like glass; otherwise I could not have spent three months on it, "he adds. To achieve this, he received more than 16,000 bottles of beer, of which he used 10,000 for the piece "El patio", which was in February at the Matadero de Madrid and a few days ago in the Plaza del Carmen in Granada.

"It is a communication that must be discovered, that has layers", explains Rafa Antón, from the Chinese advertising agency, which carries the brands Alhambra, Schweppes, Mini, among others. As in the case of Vhils' work, advertising messages are no longer so obvious. «In general, there is skepticism towards communication; we can no longer guarantee that bombing the message of a brand through the media is of interest, "he shares. "This is a more contemporary way of getting people closer to brands, not so much to consume an advertising product, but to live an experience driven by the brand that transmits its values ​​indirectly," he suggests. "It's not about finding the loudest loudspeaker, it's the best one," he continues.

Like Alhambra and Hennessy, they have dabbled in art many other brands, both alcohol, Glenmorangie, for example, but also everyday products such as Coca-Cola or experiences, such as Iberia, which this summer hired the illustrator Agustina Guerrero and the poet Defreds (Jose A. Gómez Iglesias) to create a story from Shanghai on his Instagram, under the motto "Viajar es un cuento". ABC has also supported drawing and illustration through the creation of a pioneering museum, where an art like illustration, once perceived as minor, continues to acquire importance. In this new modality, the possibilities for brands to approach their audience are endless, like the layers of which Vhils speaks in his work. .

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