Blending the corporate and art worlds together

By Teodor GeorgievLex KlerenMike Zenari

Corporate art collections often carry a message that reflects the values and mission of a company. Although there is no such thing as a free lunch, the realms of art and business have found a way to mesh, one taking in the other’s fluidity in expression and the other looking for a platform.

While corporate collections are not necessarily in the mainstream, they bring something unique both to employees and artists. Being part of a business world characterised by rigidity can create a need to look at things from a different perspective. And artists are often enabled to focus on their craft when a source of financial stability is present.

But at the heart of this collaboration is always a passion for the creative medium. Philippe Dupont, founding partner at Arendt & Medernach, was the source of the initiative that saw the beginning of the law firm’s collection in 2003. Being a collector himself, his interest in photography led him to get in touch with Paul Di Felice, an artist, art critic and curator, who ended up overseeing the project. An initial agreement laid the foundations for what is now an ensemble of 200 contemporary photographs. Two exhibitions are usually organised per year and Arendt pledges to acquire at least one body of work from each of them. In fact, the collection hasn’t changed a lot, other than growing in size, according to Di Felice. Recently, increased efforts to communicate about the project online are perhaps the most significant evolution. The acquisition of pieces is still done in the same way, with the approval of a group of partners, including Dupont. If they or the curator want to add a specific artist to the collection, then they would have to organise an exhibition, as no purchases are made without this step.

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