Who Says Image Isn’t Everything? Art and The Corporate World
Ever since the new millennium began, the idea of bringing the highest and newest styles of fashion and art to every aspect of material life – even at the most basic of levels – has been an important part of modern existence.
From Ralph Lauren custom car interiors and dog houses to Prada cat collars and cell phone jackets, it seems no product or domicile is too small to be trendy, or hip these days.
Lately, the move toward a “cooler” lifestyle has even found its way into the workplace. In fact, having the trendiest minimalist furniture or the most “sheik” glass coffee table (with all the best and latest hipster publications on it, of course) often makes a difference in whether a prospective client will agree to a contract with a company, or firm.
But good visuals have always been known to attract attention – as the classic sayings go, “dress for success” and “first impressions are everything,” and, of course, “a picture paints a thousand words.”
So it comes as no surprise that even pictures are starting to become an important part of office culture development. As businesses around the world begin to revamp their spaces to stay up-to-speed with the culturally trained modern eye, even the walls are getting some major attention – better art means better business, better business means more money.
“It’s a trend we’re seeing more and more,” Amitai Sasson of leading Internet art dealer OverstockArt.com said about the popularity of business art. “We’re seeing more and more companies come to us for the latest in modern art, and often for the timeless work of classic painters like Van Gogh and Picasso.”
Indeed, for many business owners and corporate operators, it is no longer acceptable to hang those Bob Ross cardboard reprints in cheap metal frames above couches and chairs in waiting rooms and office hallways.
“People don’t realize what a big impression wall art can make on a client, or possible client” Sasson said. “The wall art is often times the first thing people notice when they come out of the elevator – if it’s cheap-looking, it creates a negative vibe.”
Even workers can be affected by lousy art.
“I’ve worked in several offices where the art was bad, or there wasn’t art at all and it really affected my attitude on a daily basis,” said Anna Schmidt, ex-employee of a Chicago law firm. “The office I’m in now has great art – the real thing, and it really livens the place up…it’s far more enjoyable to work in a quality, positive environment.”
However, finding good art at a reasonable price isn’t always easy. In fact, that’s a big reason why bad art finds its way to corporate walls – quality art just isn’t in the budget.
“That’s something we hear a lot,” Sasson said. “It’s not feasible for an office to spend a ton of money on great art as it is to spend money on needed office supplies and materials – that’s understandable. Budget predicaments are common at most businesses. That’s where we step in.”
Like several online businesses, Sasson’s OverstockArt.com is trying to help the suit and tie crowd become less black and white and more rainbow at an affordable price.
Although OverstockArt.com sells reproduction art, it’s still real – something most reprint dealers can’t boast, and a product that business consumers are impressed with.
“Our stuff is the real deal,” Sasson said. “You get real canvas and real oil paint. It looks, smells and feels like a real oil painting and it’s half the price of what you’d pay for the same piece at a gallery. We get a lot of solid feedback from businesses who are really excited to get good stuff up on their walls. I think we’ve helped replace a lot of cheap junk over the years.”
Philip Sicard, Office Manager from a Chicago Illinois Bank, knows exactly what Sasson is talking about.
“When we overhauled our office interior, one of our biggest considerations was the artwork,” said Sicard. “We wanted art that was going to completely change the atmosphere of our space, and I think we definitely accomplished that with our new oil paintings. We’ve seen a huge change not only in our clients attitudes, but also with our employees…it’s inspiring when you know you’re coming to a great office everyday – it makes doing business a lot easier, and the clients respect you more as a quality operation.”
Now, who says image isn’t everything?