We recently completed the installation of artworks in the offices of a newly renovated Manhattan investment firm. The walls were bare, the space white and modern, and the design was efficient, as one would expect a finance office would be. The president of the company requested that the artworks warm up the offices, introduce color and complete the Park Avenue office space that had been through a total renovation. The employees were tired of looking at bare walls. The project began with parameters: request for photography, cityscapes and artworks for both public spaces and private offices, as well as working within their budget. I looked forward to delving into the of NYC images of our RE photographers.The walls were bare, from the entry to the white walls throughout the offices
The process of introducing art to a corporate space is the same as for private homes. I wrote in an article, Why Art?, in The Roger Magazine, “A (workspace) art installation provides insight into a company’s culture. The overall choice of artwork, its style, its subject -- every genre and work bears an identity. Collections can be started at all price points, by accumulating pieces from artists along the spectrum: emerging to blue-chip.” We began by addressing these questions, what they wanted to achieve, discuss their preferences in art, style, look, medium, the best way to work together and budget. I met with the Art Committee, the president and two additional employees that would review the proposed selections. To reflect their finance work in Manhattan, they wanted to focus on images of NYC, the epicenter of their world. One of the photographs installed, Lower Manhattan, by Peter Massini Photography
The focus on photography for their new modern spaces, was a move away from the paintings and prints that had been appropriate for their previous traditional decor. We identified the spaces, by showcasing the work of a variety of photographers, presenting different looks in the different spaces. The office entry has beautiful wood panels, the large-scale abstract cityscapes from John Duckworth’s Urban Journey Collection provide a dynamic welcome to their offices. A triptych on the long entry wall
Duckworth’s artworks are photographs that "transcend the line between realism and abstraction... (his) trademark style provide the viewer a sense of place, yet obscuring the details, and allows the individual to step into the image..." The Chrysler Building hangs adjacent
One more piece from this collection brings color to the entry hallway
Urbane, by Barbara Erdmann was selected for the reception area, where the vibrant and colorful abstract photo is well-suited to the monochromatic grey space.
When we present concepts, we provide digital mock-ups to illustrate how an artwork will look in a space, providing our clients with a visualization that is very helpful. For the reception area and the private offices, we suggested a different look from the entry and hall, a group of graphic urban images. Here were several of the “mock-ups” showing how different photos would look on the same wall in the conference room
Along with the committee, we reviewed a variety of options, and together felt that the art in the two conference rooms should feel different and quieter. Color was the priority. In the large conference room, light streams in from windows overlooking Park Avenue. There was only one wall for art and it looks great with Moved #12, by Stefan Radtke Photography, a refreshing contrast to the midtown views through the large windows.
The color and intensity of First Light #1 Diptych on the large wall in the smaller interior conference room is striking.
Art as an Extension of the Corporate ImageIn “Art as an Extension of the Corporate Image” in the NY Times, corporate art advisor, Jen Efron of The Efron Group, states ,”artwork that organizations choose for their buildings, or for their grounds, is as important as the art that people select for their homes. Corporate buyers are looking to complete their space in an interesting way. They also select paintings, photography and sculptures for their employees’ enjoyment and to project a certain image. Some view their art as an extension of their corporate work life.”
When we moved into the work spaces, we proposed cityscapes that reflect Manhattan’s downtown and financial district. Brooklyn Bridge is a large-scale image, 95” long, the focal point for their bullpen, visible for all of the analysts in the open space, as well as those in the glass enclosed private offices. The photographer, Even Reinheimer, takes his images from a kite, capturing a “birds-eye view”. As he says, when printed on aluminum, the image looks even more vibrant and realistic.
We looked for diversity for the artwork, from photographer, to material to perspective. Peter Massini, who shot the other two images in this space, is an aerial photographer, primarily photographing Manhattan from a helicopter. On one wall of the open space, Night Sky, with a focus on the Freedom Tower
to the opposite wall, Manhattan Skyline, mounted in plexi
We selected a variety of images for the additional offices, suggesting other perspectives. The committee asked each employee to select the photograph for his own office. There were images of abstract urban patterns, a Manhattan skyline and we love the light-hearted choice of Buddha on Park Avenue, by Kit Kittle
We had the opportunity to have two of the artists come to the offices for the installation. John Duckworth drove his 5 pieces from South Carolina and hung them, as well as a few others. It brings the process full circle, from printing and producing the artworks
to installation, with John Duckworth and his assistant
Stefan Radtke installed his art as well.
note, the white gloves
The completed project fulfilled our client's requests, for urban cityscapes, photography and color to complete their new offices and provide warmth for the clean modern space. The artworks reflect their business, its New York-centric, varied and dynamic.
Selecting and placing artwork is a collaborative process, both residential or commercial. It's a pleasure when the collaboration between our clients’, the artists and RE work together to find artwork that, as we say, “brings their space to life”.