top of page

Patronage, Corporate Social Responsibility, & the Power of Murals

Envision Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam or da Vinci’s The Last Supper and it’s easy to recognize their vision and talent. These works of art feel so inspired and mystical that it’s hard to believe they stemmed from a paid commission. A gig. In Michelangelo’s case a gig that he wasn’t too thrilled to land.

In 1508, 33-year-old Michelangelo was hard at work on Pope Julius II’s marble tomb. When Julius asked the artist to switch gears and decorate the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, Michelangelo balked. For one thing, he considered himself a sculptor rather than a painter, and he had no experience whatsoever with frescoes. Nevertheless, Michelangelo reluctantly accepted the commission, spending four years of his life perched on scaffolding with his brush in hand.

Patronage, the financial backing of artists by individuals or institutions, existed before the Renaissance, but rose in importance between the 14th and 17th centuries.

History only began regularly recording the names of the artists themselves around the time of the Renaissance. Before then, artists were largely seen as manufacturers and realizers of the grand ideas of powerful patrons with the knowledge and means to commission art.

Recognizing and honoring individuals as artists rather than simply manufacturers of the wealthy’s ideas was a promising shift, but it would take several more centuries for artists to strike out on their own.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that artists could make works on their own time (and own dime) and hope that someone might purchase them. Before then, it was the great art academies that turned out nearly every artist capable of selling their work, and as such, those institutions governed the display and sale of art.

Throughout history it’s clear to see the push and pull of the artist/patron dynamic, and it still exists today. One could argue that commissioning murals is nothing more than a form of patronage. Aren’t brands simply the largest patrons of our time? They’re the ones with the funds to back their vision, the ones seeking out artists to help them shine.

As more artists carve out businesses of their own, and call the shots on what they create, what does that look like for the future of murals? The financial resources

of patrons have always put them in a position of power, but as people grow weary of being marketed at, how can brands connect with people in a more authentic way?

Street artist Chase Erachi has an idea. Instead of simply translating a brand’s agenda, he envisions a world where artists help guide the narrative.

“I believe in some sort of new way for brands to harvest ideas, notions and content from artists. When you think of history, most of the artwork that is now displayed in museums around the world was commissioned by wealthy families or by the church, and we need an equivalence.”

If brands provided the canvas and financial backing, and left the art in the hands of the artist imagine what could be produced. This scenario more or less played out in the Sistine Chapel and the result was The Creation of Adam.

Michelangelo was originally hired to paint the 12 apostles on the pendentives supporting the ceiling and leave the center of the ceiling simply adorned. He had something else in mind, much grander than what he was commissioned to do and he persuaded Pope Julius II to let him execute his vision.

Leading with the power of art, instead of the power of a brand may seem impossible for the bottomline. But as more and more consumers reject the notion of being fed logos, calls to actions, and ignore digital ads, a new form of communication will be forced to emerge.

Murals have the ability to bridge the gap between brand message and artistic vision. Countless brands have started turning over the canvas and narrative to artists in order to more deeply connect with their audiences, and the results far exceed what can be measured in metrics.

In a digital world, filled with digital fatigue, it’s harder than ever to create authentic experiences, yet people crave them. They also care about the values behind a brand and want to know what they stand for. Murals are the perfect medium. They’re both relatable and tangible and have the power to form a positive emotional connection that speaks to the viewer.

When it comes to showcasing their presence in a mural, when brands lead with a less is more attitude they can make an even bigger impact. This was the case for Bumble. They commissioned a local artist to create an Austin mural that depicted community and communication. Aside from that direction they left the design completely up to the artist and the result was a stunning, eye-catching piece that captured the spirit of the town.

“Love Always” Bumble Mural in Austin, Texas by Candy Kuo

From community streets to office walls, murals directly connect with the people who live and work in the spaces where they exist. Many national brands are coming to the conclusion that they have a corporate social responsibility to improve the lives of not only their consumers but their employees as well.

Target set out to bring beauty inside more than 10 of its distribution centers nationwide. They used murals to brighten up a typically gray area and turned bare walls into bright spots of inspiration that reflected the beauty and culture of the surrounding city or state.

Mural inside Target distribution center in Burlington, Vermont, by Evan Lovett

Shifting the dynamic from patronage to partnership creates the space to produce something truly incredible and memorable — for the brand, artist and audience. Afterall, shouldn’t part of a brand’s corporate social responsibility be to support the arts?

If artists like Erachi have their way, brands will move from commissioning artists to execute an established vision, toward entrusting artists with their vision. “Our community has proven itself enough to where you can match brands with an artist, and then that artist produces work the way they see fit that mimics the ethos of the brand.”

Michaelangelo would likely agree.

Explore how Beautify helps brands partner with artists to create inspiring and impactful murals.

39 Kommentare

Brand Name
Brand Name
an hour ago

Look for agencies with a proven track record of success in PPC advertising. Check their client portfolio, case studies, and testimonials to gauge their experience and expertise in your industry. A reputable PPC agency should have certifications from major advertising platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads. Additionally, search engine optimization company in bangalore partnerships with platforms like Google or Facebook can indicate a high level of proficiency and access to resources.

Gefällt mir

neil jiohu
neil jiohu
08. Mai

博远教育以留学生作业代写 和网课代修代上为主要服务方向,并同时开展英文论文修改润色、留学文书代写、课程代考等学术服务。我们全方位为海外学子的学业生活保驾护航.客户的满意是我们的核心追求,也是推动我们前进的动力。博远教育致力于建立标准化服务流程体系,全程监管监管写作和网课代修质量,确保客户的代写需求得到完美解决。

Gefällt mir

Brand Name
Brand Name
01. Mai

Soil testing is a critical component of modern agricultural practices, serving as a key factor in improving overall productivity and sustainability in farming. By conducting soil tests, farmers and agricultural experts gain valuable insights into the health and composition of their soil, allowing them to make informed decisions about nutrient management, irrigation, Electrical Safety Audit and crop selection.

Gefällt mir

At BeLL Store, we understand the importance of enhancing your device with high-quality accessories that not only complement its functionality but also elevate your overall experience. With an extensive range of must-have mobile accessories, we are your one-stop destination for all things tech.

Gefällt mir

brand name
brand name
30. Apr.

The logistics park in Pune encompasses a vast expanse of land meticulously planned and designed to facilitate seamless movement and storage of goods. It comprises state-of-the-art warehouses, distribution centers, logistics park in pune transport terminals, and other essential facilities equipped with advanced technology and modern amenities.

Gefällt mir
bottom of page