Fine Art Is Fine For Brand Building

On Ad Age’s behalf, Teressa Iezzi, the editor of Creativity magazine spoke to Sebastien Agneessens, founder of Formavision about the use of fine art in advertising.

Agneessens, a gallery owner with an M.B.A. and a background in marketing at companies such as L’Oreal and Chanel, launched Formavision in 2002 when brands began to seek him out to curate their art adventures.
Agneessens curated the Lexus 460 show as well as last year’s Starbucks Salon, a music lounge and gallery the marketer fronted in New York. He’s worked with brands like Diesel and Marithe & Francois Girbaud and recently published his first book, “Remastered,” in which 55 classic works of art are reinterpreted by a new generation of artists.
“Today brands need to connect to people on an emotional or intellectual level,” Agneessens says. “Speaking about what you have to sell is necessary, but not enough. Brands need to state who they are, share their values and build their culture so they can be understood in qualitative terms.”
His latest project: a collaboration with a group of artists to create permanent installations for the New World of Coca-Cola, set to open next month in Atlanta.

The line between art and commerce is no more, if, in fact, it ever was.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Fine art is pure marketing anyway.
    The only true art is art you make just because you want to express something.
    The moment it’s sold, it’s more suspect than even advertising – at least ad people are calling it what it is.

  2. The arts is simply a captivating platform that makes people dream. Who wouldn’t want to be associated to that? If Coke or Vuitton can make me dream by looking at great art it enabled, I’m loving it. As for the sake of the independance between art and commerce, that’s rubbish. Think about the biggest patrons of the arts: industrialists with deep pockets and serious needs to better their reputation.
    Brands and the arts, everyone is a winner.