It is very pleasing to see that art is attracting more and more attention all over the world and that the value given to art and artists is increasing. In fact, commissioned art, or works of art designed and realized by the artist on commission, has supported art like an invisible hand for centuries and is one of the most important reasons why art is so intertwined with society.
In addition to my work as a designer, as a painter, I have created many commissioned artworks both in the US and in Turkey. In addition to the joy I felt while working on these projects, I found great satisfaction in seeing the positive impact my creations had on the communities where they were displayed.
Commissioned art refers to a work of art created specifically at the request of a client. The customer gives the artist a set of guidelines or requirements, and the artist creates a piece of artwork that conforms to these requirements.
Which Areas Can We See Commissioned Artworks?
Commissioned artworks can be found in a variety of fields, including
- Private residences
- Company offices
- Public spaces such as parks, museums and community centers
- Religious institutions
- Hospitals and health facilities
- Hotels and other accommodation
- Government buildings
- Education Institutions
- Art galleries and exhibitions.
Benefits of Commissioned Art
Commissioned artwork not only benefits artists and the arts community, but also adds value to projects in a number of ways.
Customization: Commissioned art allows customers to create a piece tailored to their specific needs and preferences.
Uniqueness: The commissioned art is one-of-a-kind, making it a distinctive addition to any space.
Personal Connection: The tailored art provides the opportunity to work closely with an artist to bring a personal vision to life.
Investment: The value of commissioned art can increase over time, making it a sound investment for individuals and businesses.
Brand Identity: Commissioned art can be used to enhance the visual identity of a business or organization.
Supporting artists: Commissioning artwork supports artists’ livelihoods and helps sustain the arts community.
Storytelling Commissioned artwork can be used to tell a story, convey a message or commemorate an event or person.
A study found that customers who entered a store and saw a conceptual piece of art stayed for an extra 15 minutes. The rising influence of social media over the past few years is also visible here. Taking a selfie in front of a piece of art that moves them and sharing it online makes them unofficial brand ambassadors who help spread awareness of the business to new people.
According to the Far Eastern philosophy of Feng Shui, paintings, especially in shades of orange and red, are very important in the food and beverage sector. These two colors, which are classified as warm on the color scale, have an appetizing quality. Similarly, in restaurants, images of people clinking glasses or representing such concepts not only improve the image of the establishment, but also make guests feel safe and happy. Restaurants nowadays not only provide gastronomic experiences, but also allow their guests to experience the location. We frequently hear comments such as “the ambiance is amazing,” which is due to the value that venues add to their concepts through art. Of course, this is also one of the most effective branding strategies. Organizations use art to differentiate themselves from their competitors and gain a competitive advantage.
Previously, when decorating a space, paintings were selected based on the color of the furniture, such as armchairs, sofas, curtains, and carpets. Fortunately, with increased awareness of the power of art, this situation has nearly reversed.
Does it seem to be the latest fashion for hoteliers, restaurateurs, holding companies, corporations, etc., etc., and art enthusiasts to hang up canvases proclaiming “this is my dream, this is my story, this is the place”? Certainly not!
Let’s take a look at the history of tailor made art.
Bespoke Art from Past to Present
The history of bespoke art dates back thousands of years to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. These civilizations used art for religious, political and personal purposes.
During the Renaissance in Europe, wealthy patrons commissioned famous artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci to create works of art for their homes and public spaces.
I think one of the most beautiful examples of commissioned art is the painting commissioned to Bellini by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, one of our national heritage today. Almost 600 years have passed, but this work of art is one of the wonderful examples of our history.
In the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, the industrialization of society led to an increase in commissioned art for commercial purposes, including advertising and product branding. Today, commissioned art continues to play an important role in our lives and can be found in a variety of settings, from private homes to public spaces, and continues to serve as a means of personal expression, cultural heritage and investment.
World Famous Commissioned Artworks
Henri Matisse’s “Dance” commissioned by a Russian businessman and art collector
Constantin Brancusi’s “Bird in Space” commissioned by Paris-based art collector Barnes.
Michelangelo’s magnificent work “David” commissioned by the Medici family in Florence, Italy.
“The Gates” by Christo and Jeanne-Claude commissioned by the Central Park Conservancy in New York City.
“The Bean” (also known as “Cloud Gate”) by Anish Kapoor for Millennium Park in Chicago.
Richard Long’s Crossing the Brook, commissioned by the Tate Modern in London.
Frank Gehry’s “Guggenheim Museum Bilbao” commissioned by the Basque Government in Bilbao, Spain.
“The Veil” by Alexander Calder, commissioned by IBM in New York.
Sol LeWitt’s “Wall Drawing” commissioned by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Does Bespoke Art Devalue the Work?
Commissioned art does not inherently devalue the work of art. The value of a work of art is determined by a number of factors, such as its rarity, historical significance and aesthetic quality. Commissioned art can be of high value if it is well made, created by a talented artist and meets the client’s expectations and needs.
Emre Erturk and Bespoke Art
Since I began my journey as a painter at a young age, I have produced a wide variety of pieces. It’s gratifying to help others accomplish their goals. Sometimes a businessperson with a passion for the arts will come to me with the goal of boosting morale in the workplace. Once they’ve made it clear what they want, I take on that desire as part of who I am as an artist. I get to hone my craft while also helping the commissioner promote themselves and their business through unique works of art.
While the pandemic was still in its early stages, I sold acrylic paintings on canvas at auctions benefiting the British Tiger Time Foundation, an organization that works to preserve the world’s remaining 2,000 tigers. During this time, one of my clients approached me about creating custom artwork for his private villa in Bodrum after becoming interested in the tiger-themed series I had been working on. I was commissioned to create a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork with a tiger theme specifically for his home. And I was able to reach a wider audience with the tiger motif that appeared in this work by using it on the front side of the Emré NewYork Cat & Dog bags collection that I designed. In Asian culture, tiger claws are a symbol of power, fertility, and status. I decided to use them because our cats and dogs are the undisputed masters of our homes, so I thought it would be fitting to use them. Therefore, the tiger paw is a nice reference to the ease of transporting cats and dogs in bags, as well as their capacity for both safety and functionality as a result of their robust construction.
My Inspirations for Commissioned Art
When I am working on a piece, I draw inspiration from a lot of different places and things.
The client’s vision and preferences: The client’s goals, taste and specific needs for the artwork
My personal experience: I am inspired by my emotions and experiences, as in the paintings I did for many corporate spaces in New York, as well as the paintings I did for Philippe Starck’s apartments in the YooIstanbul project in Turkey.
Nature and the environment are important to me as well. The country we live in, as well as the city, are all sources of inspiration.
Our country is richer in culture and history than many other countries in the world. The field studies we conduct with our students in my Vakko Esmod Academy classes show the undisputed influence of art on fashion. Turkey’shistorical and cultural infrastructure is one of the factors that nourish my soul while creating my works.
Innovations in technology are also a part of art. In recent years, NFT has made a name for itself by pushing the boundaries of creativity. At some point, NFT artifacts also help me develop a new vision.
In addition to all these, I have my works on the energy of colors . These studies are explained in special seminars I host throughout the year. Ordering a work of art entails combining the story of the location with the appropriate colors. My commissioned artwork succeeds when I use my knowledge of color psychology to match the right hues to the appropriate narrative. Because visitors report feeling a change in energy when they come here, and some even claim to have encountered a different kind of spirit.
Your home or office could use some life breathed into it by a unique piece of art, and I’d be happy to help you out with any custom artwork requests you may have. If you want to get in touch with me about this topic, you can do so at any time by CLICKING HERE.