BMW cultural manager Thomas Girst on arts sponsorship

Art and money have always had a mutually seductive rapport. Artists need the patronage of industry, industry benefits greatly from the positive kudos this union can bring. The truth is big art projects are costly and unless governments fully fund cultural activities, galleries and museums will need to engaged with corporate capital.

The outcome can be intriguing if the relationship is balanced, and crucially if the sponsor allows the artist and creative to do their thing, which can be tricky when you’re dealing with big corporations such as car companies.

I met with Thomas Girst, BMW’s cultural manager since 2004. He is charge of the marque numerous artistic ventures including Tate Modern Live, the Art Journey initiative with Art Basel and the classic Art Car project, which for 2017 explores two very different concepts – minimalism and virtual and augmented reality with two equally different artists, the celebrated Californian John Baldessari and Chinese digital artist Cao Fei.

Read the full interview here

Nargess Banks

Read my interview with Jeff Koons discussing his art car here

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