How Art Objects Bring Fine Art Closer to the People

  • by Cielo Serale

We've seen art on canvas, hung on that clear gallery wall, curated with works alike. In museums, we've seen them cordoned off and guarded by men in uniforms. There are many places where we've seen art and as time goes by, we've seen it go beyond conventional locations and into the streets and even online. We've seen it being performed and projected. With innovations as such, it's no secret that the art scene has gone a long way from being just a price for elitism. It's become more than just a symbol of one's socioeconomic status into something greater than all of us but there's one medium that brings fine art closer to each one of us with each production: art objects. What are they and how valuable are they in the age of skyrocketing prices for fine art? Are they even worth their prices?

Cartellino Art Objects Jean Michel Basquiat Komono
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Winston Untitled, Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas 167.5 x 152.5 cm, 1984 | Photo courtesy of Komono

If you've seen artworks by your favorite artists on a shirt, bag, umbrella, notepad, or any everyday objects that you most definitely already have, then you already know what art objects are. These items carry the signature and the artwork of a certain artist on its design or print. This, of course, should not be confused with design objects which are functional objects that are artful in their essence. They also can't be confused with art toys which are, you bet, toys in their essence. When art objects started to surface the art scene, a lot of people did find it a little insulting to fine arts. Of course, it's the same artwork but of lesser value, as they're only printed on everyday objects you'll wear out sooner or later. But more and more artists have decided to sell art objects that bring their arts closer to the people, one reason after another.

Cartellino Art Objects Takashi Murakami Virgil Abloh Gagosian
Takashi Murakami x Virgil Abloh collaboration tee at Gagosian
Photo via Takashi Murakami on Instagram.

There's no denying that accessibility to art objects is way better than when it comes to original fine art. Not everyone has the guts to go to a gallery and say, "I'm bringing this home." But for some reason, it's easier to blend in a crowd during fairs and much easier to purchase them online. Not to mention, they're way cheaper than their counterpart original works. These little things matter to a conscious consumer. If you really want a piece of Garapata in your possession and you don't have a lot of money to spend on his original artworks, it's always easier to buy his totes, stickers, and even pillows. This happens to a lot more than just local contemporary artists but also to modern artists who have shaped the industry before we were all even born. A lot of estates have done collaborations with brands giving everyone the chance to bring home a piece of an artist's legacy with them.

Art objects are a clear way of artists to connect with people, more than those who can afford their works and purchasing art objects is a small but meaningful way to support your favorite artists and their passion. 

Anchor photo Yayoi Kusama x Louis Vuitton, 2012 courtesy of Sleek Mag.