MASSIVart recently collaborated with artist Laurence Philomène on a unique sculptural installation which helped foster a sense of community across Montreal neighborhoods through the inclusion of a unique digital, interactive component. It is from this idea that was born The Essentials project for the City of Montreal’s safe active transportation circuits.
Inspired by this sense of achieving a creative connection, The Essentials was an installation of eight interactive sculptures linked to a series of photo portraits celebrating 8 local essential workers.
The colourful and playful nature of the installation invites the public to interact with the artwork and discover each photographic portrait and the story behind each essential worker’s life through a QR code and specially designed online platform.
While artistically displaying the diversity of the neighborhood and the people who live there, this celebration of the neighbourhood’s essential workers also acts to mitigate the fear of our neighbours in the context of the COVID pandemic. The portraits also explore the premise of who is essential and makes us reflect on the crucial, varied roles we all play in our communities.
For Laurence Philomène, this project was a way to repay their gratitude and celebrate their own Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension neighbourhood – a place they call home. Through each piece, Laurence wishes to thank and elevate the proud characters who give this multicultural working class neighborhood its authenticity.
For MASSIVart, it was an essential opportunity to make art more present and accessible while supporting an artist who fosters critical conversations via their images. The project allowed the mission and values of MASSIVart to also come together through the contribution of their extensive knowledge in creating memorable, community powered experiences through art.
What do you love about what you do?
I love getting to create the kind of world I want to live in. I love sharing the beauty I see in everything. And I love using photography as a vehicle to meet and connect with new people, and to create images that make people feel good in their body.
How has the pandemic affected the meaning of your work?
Prior to the pandemic, I was doing a lot of studio shoots, which I’ve stopped doing almost entirely. It’s been a good excuse to do more outdoor portraiture like I did for this project though!! Aside from that, the way I exhibit my work has shifted as well, to outdoor projects like this, and online galleries.
My personal work is largely autobiographical / self-portraiture so that aspect of my practice hasn’t changed much, and it’s given me an opportunity to dive deeper into making work about routines, domesticity and the mundane.
Where do you find community?
I mostly find community online. I grew up with a chronic illness which means I spent a lot of time indoors / by myself, and I found a community of young photographers and queer artists I connected with at the time who got me where I am today. Similarly, most of my close friends and collaborators today are people I met through sharing my work online – mostly on instagram.
What does essential mean to you?
In the context of the pandemic, essential means acknowledging our interdependence as humans in community with one another, and respecting the value of each others’ needs and skills no matter what they are.
How did the collaboration and the creative process work with MASSIVart?
It went so well! It was really great to have a team motivating me to get the project going & stay on track since the timeline was quite tight. It was also great to have Massivart coordinate the fabrication and installation of the sculptures. I felt like they really encouraged and trusted my input through every step of the project and I hope we get to work together again!
Anything else you would like to add?
Don’t forget to add some colour into your life to make it through the grey days ahead!
A little bit more about the artist
Laurence Philomène is a photographer based in Montreal, Canada. Laurence makes colourful work that centres queer and trans experiences, often through long-form and autobiographical projects. Laurence’s work is informed by their lived experiences as a chronically ill, non-binary transgender artist coming of age amid the rise of social media. Through high-saturated, cinematic and caring images, their work celebrates marginalized existences, and studies identity as a space in constant flux. Laurence aims to work in collaboration with every person they photograph – creating striking, intimate portraits that celebrate the beauty in every human being. Instantly recognizable by their signature use of colour and daylight, Laurence’s photographs act as a love letter to their community.
Project funded through the Montreal Cultural Development Agreement and the Réflexe Montreal Agreement between the City of Montreal and the Government of Quebec.
MASSIVart has been a champion of the arts transcending beyond traditional institutions for more than 11 years. Art is powerful. Art can engage in difficult conversations. Art creates emotional connections that rally people together. We are convinced that those experiences should be lived, revisited and shared. While we always have soft arguments on our side to substantiate our claim. This brand new study coming from a reputable partner and endorsed by industry leaders will give us the undeniable tool that art placemaking is a valuable and tangible value-added to private and public projects.
From public art, creative seating arrangements, monuments, cultural programming, landscape design and architecture, our surroundings impact our health. While this has been a general belief, this study will contribute to knowledge production and compile tangible data to measure the ROI of art placemaking.
Our years in business have proven to us, and our clients, that art placemaking is beneficial to increase traffic, transform spaces and enhance events by creating memorable experiences. Cultural programming and the inclusion of art in architecture, real estate and design, and many other alternative areas can transform the sense of community & belonging and contribute to the collective well-being. Art conveys the character of a place, its value, its culture, its identity and narrative.
This study’s framework will give us some much-needed quantitative analysis in a benefit we can acknowledge but till now hardly measured.
We have embarked on this study with other front runners of their field of expertise, real estate – The Daniels Corporation, Entro, and architecture – Lemay. The study is piloted by Ryerson University’s Creative Industries professor, Louis-Etienne Dubois and his team. As he states, “together, these metrics will generate an original dashboard that stakeholders can use to discuss, assess, and communicate the economic, social and aesthetic value of placemaking in the planning and evaluation of projects.”
At MASSIVart, we believe that creative spaces, cultural programming and placemaking can create a tangible ROI for brands because it brings people together and builds stronger bonds.
We are expecting the results in the second quarter of 2021. These results will give us more data-driven results to promote and create more art-driven experiences. Furthermore, this will fulfill some of MASSIVart’s missions; to support the artistic community and make art more accessible to everyone and everywhere.
In partnership with the Hotel Association of Greater Montreal, MASSIVart participated in a discussion panel debating how art allows brands to cut-through in an industry that is in constant evolution.
The project’s key stakeholders discussed their vision and elaborated on the processes that led to the final design of this unique, premium location.
Christina Poon, General Manager, W Montreal
Camille Jodoin-Eng, Artist
Martin Leblanc, Senior Partner, Sid Lee Architecture
Philippe Demers, Founding Partner, MASSIVart
The renovation project began 4 years ago placing extensive consideration on delivering a contemporary design solution that would live through current & future trends yet always be ahead of its time. This future thinking has become the trademark of the W. Even 15 years ago, when the W Montreal first opened its doors, it was years ahead of its time for both Montreal and Canada so it was crucial that the renovation continued to establish this illustrious brand positioning.
In New York & Montreal, discussions and creative workshops took place between the Sid Lee Architecture, Ivanhoe Cambridge and W teams to define the ‘W Montreal’ brand for the next 10 years, and what was required to achieve that. “That’s how we came up with this exceptional product.” said Christina Poon.
What allowed the Sid Lee Architecture team to create such a coherent solution was led by the particular character of the W which owns a premium positioning at the forefront of the hospitality industry. As its relationship with Montreal is so authentic and significant, the W has more of a local, boutique-style feel than a hotel from a large international group. “That’s why we worked on this project – to give it its unique character. There was first a period of active listening and then we came to exchange on proposals.” Martin Leblanc said.
The strong narrative of the W was the main aspect taken into consideration. There is an authentic relationship between the hotel associates and the guests which is why the architecture team worked extensively to connect the dots between these 2 groups by finding stories with topics beyond the surface, all told through thoughtfully curated artworks.
“It’s always been important for me to integrate art in our projects – especially outside of galleries & museums. Hotels are a good canvas for art. If you don’t expect artworks, you have more of a kind of a raw relationship with it, and this is what I’m seeking.” Martin Leblanc said.
From the perspective of artist Camille Jodoin-Eng, art connects the local community with the global community within a space. It also brings out the spirit and history of the city. It is a mutually beneficial collaboration: The artists help the hotel to visually communicate their identity through aesthetics, but also embody the values of the company. In return, artists are supported and given a public platform for their visual voice. It also improves the well-being of everyone in the space, from guests to employees.
Christina Poon also sees art as a conversation-starter: “It breaks the ice and right away it enhances the sense of arrival. Guests are checking in and they’re saying that they’re coming in somewhere where they feel good. There is something that compels them to be happy here, while affirming the W Montreal’s identity of bold, edgy and colourful.”
For Martin Leblanc, “The key is to know its inclusion and importance at the very beginning of the project, when we’re still looking at how we’re gonna tackle it. In the same way that we know we’ll need a bar, it must be obvious, it is not even a question. Even if, later on, you question if it will be a big or small bar, it was part of the original mandate of the space to have a bar. In the same way, when art becomes an essential element rather than a budget expense, our approach is very different” For Martin, art must be integrated into the architecture, not just be a painting on a wall.
From Christina Poon’s point of view, it’s okay to start small – art doesn’t have to be all done in one shot, it can be introduced little by little. It doesn’t have to be a complete renovation to make it happen. Also, even if you can’t calculate the exact ROI of art integration, Christina Poon ensures that
It’s important for the art community to have private commissions like these. Camille Jodoin-Eng told us that it’s great for artists to be displayed in a hotel as they can reach a broader audience than in galleries and museums. Also, what she appreciated was that “in the case of a private commission, you don’t have to think of the artwork as a sellable element, you can just focus on the ideas and creating rather than the sellability of the work.”
On the question of engaging local vs international artists, everyone agreed on the fact that the goal is to encourage local artists. But as Martin Leblanc said, “I also think that the way to help local artists is to mix them with global talents to help them reach a far broader audience.”
The challenge will always remain on how best to connect the two worlds of business and art and how to find that winning-balance between them. Both commercial and artistic objectives must be met, and to achieve this it’s crucial that it’s a collaborative effort.
Launched in 2019, the Canada’s Top Growing Companies editorial ranking aims to celebrate entrepreneurial achievement in Canada by identifying and amplifying the success of growth-minded, independent businesses in Canada. In total, 400 companies earned a spot on this year’s ranking.
The full list of 2020 winners, and accompanying editorial coverage, is published in the October issue of Report on Business magazine—out now—and online at tgam.ca/TopGrowing.
“The stories of Canada’s Top Growing Companies are worth telling at any time, but are especially relevant in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic,” says James Cowan, Editor of Report on Business magazine. “As businesses work to rebuild the economy, their resilience and innovation make for essential reading.”
An honor for our team!
The internationally acclaimed CODAawards celebrate the projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces. The CODAawards program honors the individuals and the teams whose collective imaginations create the public and private spaces that inspire us every day.
They have recently announced the winners of their eighth annual competition. Judging the 465 entries from 25 countries – USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and China, among them – was a panel of 18 jurors from the design and art worlds, including Gensler principal and creative director John Bricker; Jennifer Kolstad, chair of the American Society of Interior Designers and Ford Motor Company global design director; and Rhode Island School of Design president Rosanne Somerson.
Installations were selected in 11 categories, such as hospitality, healthcare, education, and transportation. The jury’s top 100 picks were exhibited online, where the public was invited to vote for three favorites.
Jury member Audrey Koehn, Principal + Global Interiors Leader, DLR Group commented on the awarded work conceived and produced by MASSIVart: “The suite presented a seamless integration of creative and interactive art elements which preserved history in an immersive experiential way, making this project stand out.”
Maxim graduated with honours from the Concordia University John Molson School of Business and later obtained his CPA designation in both Canada and the United States. The key to his success lies in the determination and professionalism he applies to each new challenge he undertakes. An approach that will continue to influence his career path in the years to come.
From his early days in the accounting and finance world, Maxim’s rigour enabled him to accept a position with the renowned firm Deloitte. Two years later, he was propelled to the city of San Francisco where he worked for BPM as Audit Manager. In this role, he worked with companies of all sizes, operating in different sectors and with diverse opportunities and objectives. Maxim brings this broad experience with him to MASSIVart.
It is in 2019 that Maxim returned to the city of Montreal, where he arrives with a heavy arsenal of knowledge at MASSIVart. A strong interest in and fascination for art drives our CFO to apply his experience to guide the company towards healthy growth and to seize opportunities that will arise. As a result, he contributes in his own way to propelling art and culture to new heights.
As I celebrate one year into my new role at MASSIVart, I am taking the opportunity to share some thoughts on how finance and art, as broadly as they can be imagined, are usually considered at very different ends of any spectrum, should they even be considered on the same spectrum at all.
One usually is thought of as the pursuit of wealth and profit, or overall financial health whereas the other, as a means of leveraging creativity to express oneself, a beautifying agent and, to a certain extent, a luxury meant for those excelling in the first.
Finance, in its broadest sense, is ultimately focused on increasing value by, among other means, finding efficiencies, reducing costs and eliminating resource constraints. On the other hand, art, and by extension culture and creativity, undoubtedly contribute to value creation by significantly differentiating positioning and communications, resulting in a strong sentiment of customer adhesion and aligning interests of different stakeholders.
Given the output of one is more easily quantifiable, it tends to be associated with greater value creation whereas the other, simply because of the different nature of its output, is thought as being more superficial in its contribution to value creation and as a result tends to be considered as less necessary or urgent of an investment.
I would however argue, now more than ever in the context of a financial contraction of the likes none of us have ever seen, that, among other strategies, the combination of both financial considerations and a willingness to integrate creative and artistic initiatives will be necessary, for most players, to imagine their path back to financial strength, success and growth and will contribute to defining their new communication and positioning strategy in a highly crowded environment.
On top of the qualified, highly-motivated and experienced team, as well as the impressive track record of the company, the main aspect that made me want to be part of MASSIVart was the simple premise that there is no reason why art, culture, creativity and financial business could not be considered together as a way to address the modern, highly complex and rapidly changing challenges of our diverse economic players.
Virtual art exhibitions are now a reality; and this is not only because museums and galleries around the world had to close their doors due to the pandemic. Online shows are a direct consequence of the changes in the way people are consuming culture and the technological progress of recent years.
Since the last decade, museums and galleries have been experiencing a decrease in the number of visitors, seeing not only their economic sustainability threatened but also their primary objective – bringing art close to the people. One of the factors that led to this fall in attendance is the predominance of social media, as it has completely changed the way people consume art and culture. The tendency up until now was to put the discourse -the concept- as the main element of an exhibition; but now the importance has been transferred to the experience and the instagrammable art -being this a trend in every aspect of the consumer’s behavior and not exclusive to the arts and culture. Some examples are found in the immersive museum TeamLab Borderless or the Magritte retrospective presented in the SFMoMA in 2018 which included interactive installations at the end of the show aimed to offer a “selfie” moment.
Before, the public depended on museums and galleries to discover new artists and to know more about their work. Now, people have direct access thanks to social media. One can talk with artists and buy their work directly on Instagram, without a gallery as the intermediary. In curatorship and marketing terms, museums and galleries had years debating between keeping their traditional strategies or exploring new ways.
The rise of COVID-19 and the subsequent pandemic forced cultural institutions to close their doors, making their deficiencies even more visible. With the lockdown, museums and galleries had to embrace new technologies and implement virtual tours -the digital experience of an exhibition shown in a real, physical space- to keep their spaces alive. Now with the extension of the confinement and the implementation of health measures, the efforts will have to be directed to develop online-exclusive shows.
Virtual exhibitions have been implemented by galleries since 2015 as a tool to improve their sales –being David Zwirner Gallery one of the pioneers–, but in the post-COVID world, this format is also allowing museums and cultural institutions to keep offering free access to art. Being this –the free accessibility– one of the pillars of the internet, virtual exhibitions represent a step forward to the democratization of art.
Many in the art world might say that the online experience cannot replace the physical encounter with a painting or a sculpture, but the reality is that both collectors and viewers are more and more comfortable with this format. For galleries, virtual exhibitions besides improving sales, represent reaching a global audience. For viewers, they mean the opportunity to access and explore art from anywhere in the world. In terms of curatorship, the disappearance of the spatial barriers will allow one exhibition to happen in different parts of the world, giving a large number of artists an opportunity to showcase their work, and attracting a wider audience as well. This technology could change the structure of the art world completely.
As people can access from the comfort of their own homes, they will live a more intimate experience and engage more freely with the artwork. The translation from physical to virtual spaces will bring the opportunity of exploring new ways of presenting art and other exciting challenges in terms of curatorship and exhibition design; even as we return to our new reality.
The current development of online shows will impact the way physical exhibitions are going to be curated in the future. We predict the proliferation of hybrid models in the years to come as incorporating technology, such as virtual or augmented reality, will increase the engagement with the viewers while giving the institutions an excellent opportunity to enhance the general experience.
With the pandemic, museums and galleries saw the opportunity to finally move to the digital arena. The challenge now is not to make the jump from offline to online strategies but to understand how to make the aesthetic experience through a screen equally rewarding.
Visiting several online exhibitions, three persistent formats stood out. The less complex one is the presentation of the artworks as flat images, which is a photo gallery with descriptive texts, as it is the case of the valuable platform of Google Arts & Culture or the shows presented by Hauser & Wirth. In the next level are the 3D spaces that literally translate the white cube to the digital realm but keeping the artworks as flat images, as the recent exhibitions developed by Casa Equis. Lastly, we found more experimental spaces where the pieces are finally three-dimensional but generally the platforms are difficult to navigate making the experience short and very confusing, as the initiatives by Centro Cultural Casa del Lago Juan José Arreola.
Whichever is the chosen format, what is clear is that the aesthetic experience is undoubtedly changing and that the materiality of the artwork is no longer the principal factor to engage or connect with the viewer. The problem is that these types of exhibitions, although efforts worth recognizing, are not offering a satisfactory alternative to the physical experience.
We cannot continue designing exhibitions for the digital world following guidelines of the physical world. We need to explore them with tools that are digital as well, such as incorporating 360º views of the artwork, videos, audios, links, among other types of content already living in the web, to build a holistic experience that will stimulate all our senses, provoke curiosity and generate more engagement. The objective of the design and curatorship has to be to offer a deeper level of immersion and participation for the viewer.
An area of opportunity is found in real-time strategies such as webcams showing the artists working in their studios, online chats to have conversations with the artists and/or curators or even to develop online artworks that are not only interactive but participatory. These make us think that changes in the creative processes will also occur as the artists will have to conceive their work to be seen through electronic devices, and will have to give a more active role to the viewers. It is exciting to think of all the new art forms that are going to be developed.
Like everything, the art world will have to adapt and evolve rapidly to stay current. In MASSIVart we think that the answer might not be developing new technologies but learning how to use the existing ones more creatively. Artists, cultural institutions, curators, and other members of the art scene, will have to rethink the digital space as an autonomous one, with infinite new possibilities to create, show, and sell art.
The past few months brought drastic changes in our everyday life. Our homes have been turned into multipurpose spaces; our daily commute was cancelled. We went for more walks, discovered uncharted territories in our neighborhood. Statues have fallen, while murals have sprung. Art has also been at the forefront of conversations. Many find solace in painting rainbows, embellishing those non-descript spaces that became precious overnight.
Art, especially Public Art, the one you can see outdoors, for free, accessible to everybody, took on a new meaning. As we are moving into the very early days of the new normal, we measure how important the outdoors has become in our lives. That park, that street we walk on to get coffee simply to get out of the house. We want to enjoy our surroundings; they foster relationships; it makes us engaged with our communities. Sculptures have been scrutinized, many have been taken down their pedestal and will need to be replaced. Murals are being painted to pay homage, to get attention, to remember and to reflect our current time and struggles.
As outdoors is now playing a central role in our daily lives, cities turn into urban planning. Public Art takes many forms; murals, large-scale sculptures, installation, site-specific; it can stand alone or be part of a sculpture garden or a punctual event. It can be up in the air, perched in a tree, under your feet, standing next to you or inviting you in. It transpires the value of the artists that creates the project, the people who supported it and commissioned it. It reflects on what city, space or company wants to express about itself; that they are a place for creativity, a way to retain their creative classes, to engage with their communities. Art enriches life. The general expectation is that Public Art relates to time, reflects our stories, and is accessible to a broad and diverse public.
In the past 30 years or so, Public Art moved from grassroots to mainstream; projects are now almost expected to present it in one form or another. Art, and especially Public Art is becoming more and more understood as a value-added feature. It activates a city, a place. From old fashion monuments which were passive, new sculptures become a vessel. They are about activation and engagement, pushing deeper their social commitment. One good example of involving the public in the decision process is the 4Th plinth project in Trafalgar Square in London, UK. While there is a committee selecting the shortlisted, the public is invited to see the submission, give comments and vote, and take a step further in deciding what will throne at the top of the plinth left unused for more than 150 years.
It revitalizes, highlights, gives a second life and beautifies place – think of a mural under a viaduct – instant game changer. Urban furniture pops up overnight. Suddenly, it is alive, activated. It changes the perception of an overlooked area by which we walk thousands of times. We pay attention, and we want to experience it, sit on it and enjoy that place to a degree we wouldn’t connect with otherwise.
Partnering with the Partenariat du Quartier des Spectacles, Palais des Congrès in Montreal, Hullmark in Toronto or MIRA in Mexico, MASSIVart actively work towards bringing lively, festive, uplifting destinations infused art and design, contribution to enhancing the visual landscape as well as the spirit of the space. It transforms how we experience places, changes the way we interact, gives us a breather and cuts the monotonous. While its quantitative impact is harder to measure, it’s qualitative impact shows to be reliable. Public Art commands attention, attracts your gaze, gets you to look up from your phone, engage and sparks conversation.
It is a dialogue about the social fabric of our cities. The rewarding effects are numerous. On a human level: happier population, less stressful commute, mental health benefits, lower crime rate. From an economic perspective, it creates jobs for artists and more – someone needs to design, construct, install and take care of those projects. It requires materials that are more than often sourced locally. It also fosters tourism – let’s think of Prada Marfa in Marfa and how Marfa became a destination since Donald Judd decided to create some major permanent installations there. It creates a buzz, makes the city vibrant, promotes its competitive edge, lives for its innovative thinking – the vital signs are strong.
This is an occasion that building owners and real estate companies should take advantage of. It is part of our mission at MASSIVart to work with cities, real estates, promoters and developers to increase the presence of art in their projects that have a strong impact in how we navigate our cities. With the current movement for shopping local, it is time to rethink the offer and push further their entertainment and well-being in the infrastructures they are part of. To push the envelope and for companies to promote their values through their implication in daily life and enhancement of multipurpose public spaces. MASSIVart puts at the service of its partner actionable insights due to our years of experience in conceiving desirable destinations that create uplifting, and engaging spaces.
Public Art can also transform and re-activate older buildings, cover-up design mistakes, and mitigate sterile streetscapes or buildings’ effects. A mural can prevent graffiti from reoccurring, and vandalism decreases. A new installation contributes to foster conversations, to engage with the locals as well as the visitors.
It leads to thinking back to programs like the Federal Art Project that ran from 1935 to 1943 and which was part of the New Deal after the Great Recession. At its core, the goals of building morale, creating jobs and reducing crime. In times like now, when we need more than ever to move from generic experience to unique ones, when alternative narratives are needed, the ideas of creating a program or investing funds in inspiring people, in giving some a purpose while enriching our everyday life seem like the way to go.
MASSIVart’s vision is aligned with this thinking; we strongly believe in creating memorable art driven experiences that the communities in which they are delivered will want to live, revisit and share. We are proud to support and offer new possibilities to artists as well as giving back and working with other communities and partners in our common goal to foster a local cultural ecosystem which is deeply rooted in creating relevant experiences delivered in unexpected ways.
We can expect to see Public Art flourish as cities will rethink themselves for smaller gatherings, engage with their communities and regional visitors, and expand their outdoors, as we know this virus is here to stay. This summer shows us the power of standing together for what we believe in and being advocates for the changes we want to see in our communities.
By Alejandro Cardoso – Global CEO, MASSIVart
We, at Massivart, have been able to participate in several recent forums as well as discussion with our real estate development and retail clients. Here are some thoughts we have and have seen emerging in the industry.
Covid-19 has already forced shopping centers and stores to implement sanitary measures. They will stay with us for a while so we better get used to wearing a mask, have our body temperature checked and our shoes sprayed with chlorine solutions to be able to walk into a mall or store.
It is perhaps time to rethink how shopping centres function. How can they be redesigned to meet today’s way of living. such as green spaces, secure environments, well equipped working areas, beautiful (or at least nicely designed) social and eating areas, plus all the stores. We have helped some of our Clients to evolve in this direction and gain prominence and awareness that then translates into traffic that creates a great shopping experience, which is the ultimate goal of our services.
And we mean all the factors that surround a shopping experience, which now includes the known sanitary measures. And for that, we mean on line service, merchandise pick up or home delivery, in store service, window display, in store decor, promotions and cultural programs as ways to attract and please shoppers. Every touch point, online and offline will count. Every interaction between a customer and the retailer will count, no matter how small it might look or sound. Retailers must aim at a ZERO DEFECT shopping experience. That means no flaws, no service errors and an improved shopping space for shoppers to feel safe and rewarded as they enter the retail space and walk through the now ample store aisles.
The shopping experience will remain dual: online & offline. While COVID19 forced former non online users to start shopping online, the physical shopping experience can not be replaced by the online only experience. Shoppers, beyond online shopping, want to be attended by a human being a place where you are physically seeing, not only listening over the phone or on a chat on your computer. People love to go to the shopping centres or stores because it is – or must be – entertaining and self fulfilling. The physical shopping process is fun and despite the technological progress, with virtual dressing rooms and AR technologies (Ie: Gucci, Uniqlo, Inditex, Ralph Lauren to name a few) the shopping experience will never be 100% replaced by online shopping.
With the global trend of residential living space becoming smaller, young couples and families will tend to look for a space to feel free, liberated from a constrained home space and have fun in a secure manner. That’s where THE SHOPPING CENTRE model falls in and makes sense.
While in some countries the consumer behavior was to go to a store and go back home, so you just have one opportunity to make them happy at your store, in many other countries – and this trend is growing – going to a mall could be a full day of activities including eating at a high end restaurant, going to the movies, even an amusement park and of course shopping at multiple stores, all within one space. Going to a shopping centre in some Latin American countries and some cities in the USA, could be a full family day. We believe that this trend will soon be embraced by many countries around the world.
Here some ideas and marketing principles to consider:
Every month, we spotlight one of our amazing team members! We open the floor so that they can express themselves, share their passions and unique skills… Today it’s Alice’s turn!
Alice has been part of the MASSIVart team since 2018, first as artistic director of the Chromatic festival and now as artistic consultant and a curator of the agency’s projects.
A valuable member of our creative team, she is also an inspiring artist. We wanted to give her carte blanche to talk about her background and artistic approach, and showcase her work.
After obtaining my master’s degree at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art de Clermont Métropole, in France, I initiated, with 10 other artists and friends, the creation of the venue La Cabine. This place thought as a collective workshop and exhibition space allowed me during two years to deepen my practice and to curate different exhibitions and events.
During the year 2015 I took part in several exhibitions including Les Enfants du Sabbat 16 at the art center Creux de L’enfer in Thiers, France and S’allonger sur une ombre, at Home Alone in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
In 2018, I decided to move to Montreal where I took on the role of Artistic Director for the 10th edition of the Chromatic Festival. At the same time, I benefit from my first European exhibition: the collective exhibition “Six Memos” which will travel between Spain, England and Poland during the year 2018-2019. In July 2018, I exhibited for Art.Art with Roxa Hy in Montreal. Since 2019, I have been an art consultant and curator at MASSIVart and I continue my artistic practice in parallel.
As for my plastic work, it revolves around the notion of daily life. It questions the landscape and the geometrical forms found in it, whether natural or man-made. I collect elements of reality and I avoid their forms to keep only the edges. The forms, once purified and rethought, are the result of emptiness / fullness. I am therefore interested in the form itself and in what it is as such.
The installations that result from this formal research give birth to silent universes where structures can be contemplated like a stroll in a ghost town.
In the manner of Italo Calvino, who in American Lessons: Six Memos for the Next Millennium crosses literary eras like a journey, I seek to perceive the landscape as a journey from which a multiplicity of plastic forms results.
About the “Multiplicity” on page 173: “Gaddafi knew that “to know is to insert something into the real, therefore it deforms the real“. This is exactly what I want to show through my work. How to perceive the landscape, the changes that can occur on it, the “speed” at which it evolves. The idea that an image as such is not “correct”. To seek to transcend the images of everyday life, to seek the special perceptible by all: “visibility”. The “coherence” of the landscape is therefore the internal idea that we have of it.
The sculptor Georges Sugarman, in the 60s, when talking to Fred Sandback, said “If you’re fed up with all these pieces, why not just stretch a line with a ball of string, that’s all?”. It’s with this minimalist spirit freed from the full and the base that I think about creation in order to direct my work and my research towards the recess and the arrangement of pure forms organizing themselves in space. Taken from reality, I only keep the edges, contours and skeletons of these formal references.
In the age of the experience economy, retailers are adding layers of richness to their offerings. ‘Attention-grabbing’ is an oft-recurring strategy, which can be achieved through the art of storytelling. Knitting a narrative into a design may encourage visitors to potentially spend more time and result in more sales in the process of discovery and understanding.
At MASSIVart, our greatest inspiration for applying this approach comes from Gentle Monster. The eyewear brand is internationally recognized for its outstanding boutiques, which are the very symbol of the retail experience.
The South Korean brand has exploded worldwide with its experimental and avant-garde space designs in the highest quality and has retail stores that would transport you to a different dimension. Each with its own theme and concept reflecting the city or the glasses.
And it works! Since its launch in 2011, Gentle Monster shows no signs of slowing. The company began making a profit in 2014, with sales figures rising close to USD$40 million. In 2016, Gentle Monster reached USD$60 million in annual global sales, and in 2018 the brand was up to USD$200 million.
Though most of their glasses are purchased online, the stores specifically target Millennials by providing a uniquely exploratory, Instagrammable experience thanks to creative, experiential ‘story’ that blends retail with art.
Her work oscillates between the physical and virtual space. Computational media is rapidly evolving and becoming ubiquitous and influential in our everyday life. The ontological reality, the simulated reality, and the mediated reality are a group of layers clustered in a complex, multidimensional way. Her work searches for the possibilities of simultaneous realities that form and interact with each other, creating objects and narratives that reflect upon our past, present and future.
Project made from the register of graffiti tags painted on the Angel of Independence in Mexico City, made during the feminist protest march #NoMeCuidanMeViolan, in August 2019. The controversy generated by these tags open a discussion around memory and heritage. Without trying to solve these, the project is summed up to the discussion and presents itself as an effort of keeping this state of the monument alive, vandalized and appropriated by the society, showing how the “Angel of Independence” achieves new meanings in the current times. The piece allows the intervened monument to stay in the collective memory of the citizens as a communicator of peoples’ urges and demands. The digitized monument can even be seen as a testimony for future research, as it concentrates and preserves evidence of the claims for justice.
is a parallel project In collaboration with artists Livia Radwanski y Concepción Huerta. It consists of a 3D model of the monument created through the translation of multiple photographs into a digital space.
The piece deepens in the archeological interpretation based on the ornaments of the facade of the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City. This commission for Satelite, an online curatorial project, shows some of the ornamental neo-indigenist elements of the palace and, through VR technology, generates a new dialogue with the narratives, both architectural and muralist, that the building has had since its construction. The video places us in a future territory and guides us to rethink the meaning and the relationship we have with our monuments.
Future possible archeology of the architectural elements of The Porfiriato. Through scanning and 3D modeling methods, the pieces reconstruct the narrative of an architectural style. The series questions the notions of archeology, not only as a method to analyze the values of an era, but also their reformulation.
Ornamentos juxtaposes an architectonic space generated by a computer with the current architectural context of Downtown L.A. The piece is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and his appropriations of the Mayan ornaments, and the contrasting minimalism of the Californian art movement called “Light and Space”.
Representation of simultaneous spaces that confront and break the linearity of time and space, opening a new dimension. These scenes are simulations of interior and exterior spaces at the same time. The exploration was made through processes of texture mapping on 3D modeling programs. It is a process in which a bidimensional image is projected on a 3D surface to add texture to a model. This technique is used to give more realistic details to virtual objects. In this case, 2D images of landscapes were projected on 3D surfaces of domestic spaces in a recursive way, where the resulting image is used as a new texture. Through this recursion, the final image results in an abstract simulation.
At a time when the return to the new normal is slowly taking place, Alejandro Cardoso, MASSIVart’s Global CEO, discusses, in an article, the future of marketing and brands.
It used to be that CMO’s at global organizations would have an acceptable period of time for their tenure and results to be evaluated. I was one of them. Well, not anymore. Over the last few years, CMO’s and CEOS’s have been challenged to the maximum in order to produce short term results that would satisfy the shareholders. This has pushed brands to seek new Brand 2 Consumer engagement models that could generate results in the short term w/o ideally, affecting the brand in the long run. Some senior execs have succeeded but many have failed. As a result, communication agencies, ad agencies and digital agencies have been challenged equally by Advertisers in order to adapt to the new business and marketing reality. Some agencies have succeeded, some have failed in the attempt to adapt to the new reality.
So while COVID 19 has been a major issue over the last 6 months globally – where governments and health authorities have been put to a huge test – the reality is that for marketeers and communications experts the situation is a new challenge on the list, while certainly, a bigger one as compared to previous health challenges due to its economic implications, but one more challenge in the world of marketing. So, how do you adapt to a new reality where reunions, getting together, even having a coffee or eating with someone, force you to maintain a distance, when in fact one of the big challenges brands have is centered on creating memorable, enduring, unique experiences?
The key words are: learn, listen, investigate, get close to your consumers – even if at distance – in order to understand their concerns, wishes and different and alternative ways of interacting with brands. Whether it is a FMPG or a Service, the premise is the same: Don’t try to guess what they want, what their fears are and what their expectations are. Be sure before you improvise.
For some industries the forced shift of their model and their success, have been the result of consumers demanding their services not necessarily them being smart. Companies in the logistics and delivery services have experienced significant growth. Health and personal care brands have sold almost every SKU. Supermarkets have sold more food, beer and wine as people are not going out to restaurants. On-line services, both educational and entertainment services, have shown exceptional results, but in all honesty most of these success stories come from consumers forcing them to fulfill their needs, rather than these companies doing something exceptional, marketing wise. Even beauty and some luxury brands have sold more – as it is customary for these categories – whenever there’s a crisis, as ironic as it may sound.
The art world has experienced an awakening as well, when it comes to people being inserted in museums and art and culture progress streamed live or on demand. So, while some businesses like tourism, restaurants, bars, airlines, co-working spaces, car manufacturers, small corner stores, among many others, have suffered a lot, others have capitalized on the crisis. That’s the way it has always been.
Looking forward, we as marketers, are now forced to develop strategies that could bring the brand closer to the consumer in an entertaining, attractive, relevant manner.
In order to listen to the relevant audiences, data is crucial and how you use data can lift up your business or in fact, bury it. Data produces insights that drive the strategy. Strategy leads to the Idea and the Idea is then executed and measured to start the cycle again. In this model, the idea and execution are critical. How you create a brand experience that is relevant, meaningful, unique memorable and that creates the need for customers to want to revisit it and share it with pals in their social media communities, will be crucial.
Of course, brands must get closer to their audiences and art & culture are an effective way to achieve that. An advertising campaign – even if highly creative – won’t do the trick anymore. Being able to make tangible the brand promise through experiences, will create the buzz, the awareness, the sales and the growth.
As months go on and we go back to the new normal, whether you’re a packaged good, in the hospitality industry, in the real estate development, or in financial services, brands will have to make sure they get noticed, they attract the consumers attention and get chosen by consumers, as disposable income might be constrained in some demographic sectors for a period of time. So whatever the retail space or the various touch-points or destinations where consumers interact with the brands – whichever these may be – all of them have to be super differentiated and attractive to gain the consumers preference. As rare as it may sound, now is the time to prepare.
While advertising might affect the way consumers see brands, it is a universal truth that today, brands need a lot more than a nice ad to impact and attract consumers. Brand experiences are the ones that can make a brand promise tangible. In my career of many years in the ad world, I came to conclude a few years ago that brands need to shift from messaging to creating experiences and I’m sure that life with COVID and post COVID will drive brands and marketers to realize this is a trend and not a fad, that can determine the bright – or gray future- of some brands. No doubt, in the new normal, brands will need to find ways to get closer to consumers as consumers will be busy minding other things.
MIRA and MASSIVart invite national and international artists to develop a proposal for a permanent public artwork to be located in the public plaza of MIRA’s latest real estate development in Mexico City: Neuchâtel’s Cuadrante Polanco.
A total budget of 6,000,000.00 MXN Pesos will be allocated to the art installation’s project to give artists the opportunity to create an iconic landmark for Mexico City while beautifying the urban public landscape.
The artist selected will be aligned with the artistic direction of MIRA and MASSIVart as well as the vision of Neuchâtel Cuadrante Polanco, which is led by a desire to create an iconic and timeless art installation that has the power to engage the community.
Museums, crucial for cultural democracy, are the Iceberg tip of a complex cultural and economic system. They play a key role in local economic development and are surrounded by a wide range of actors, artists, audiences, self-employed and freelance workers and creative companies.
At the heart of their social, educational and cultural missions, and in order to face the challenges of inclusion and diversity, museums have already set up numerous initiatives: community projects, travelling exhibitions, educational activities for all ages, visits adapted to people with disabilities, etc. However, despite the ambition to reach out to everyone, there is still a long way to go to have an offer that can speak to all the communities concerned. Museums must be flexible in the face of a constantly changing society. Who is our museum offer aimed at? Who decides what is of interest and how to present it? On what criteria are these decisions made? These are all questions raised by the theme of accessibility and inclusion.
These questions are all the more relevant in the context of an unprecedented global epidemic, which has seen all museums close their doors. In this period of containment, the digital offer has now become the only one available to museums, which have taken advantage of the tools they had to continue to make their services accessible to visitors. In just a few clicks, the public can access mobile applications, websites, social networks and virtual exhibitions.
In fact, there has been a remarkable increase of nearly 200% in the number of visits to museum websites since the beginning of the epidemic, which have successfully guaranteed the continuity of their museum offer.
Once this observation has been made, post COVID 19, museums will surely have to be even more creative, as the digital offer alone is not enough and visitors need different ways of experiencing and being in contact with arts and culture. If in recent years the visitor experience has been centred on participation, interaction or multi-sensory solicitation, it is easy to imagine that for some time audiences may be reluctant or afraid to move around the museum: touch screens, crowds, virtual reality headsets, audio headsets, enclosed spaces.
We are therefore entitled to believe that we will have to rethink the services offered by museums and the museographic means of sharing knowledge and heritage: a different way of plunging visitors into the heart of an experience, of engaging them, while adapting to new behavioural norms.
Even if we have to reflect on new strategies to be implemented and creative means to be put in place, it seems relevant to me to include in this discussion all the communities and actors concerned. A new generation of museums, combining cultural innovation, local economic development and social inclusion, may perhaps be born from a work of co-construction and listening, which will continue to support, as they already do, an indispensable ecosystem.
Municipalities, retailers, real estate developers, museums and all other places open to the public will need to reinvent the way people will move through their streets and buildings.
For that, they’re going to have to be inventive to spread messages and be attentive to what people need most right now: find a little bit of wonder in their daily lives to feel better. This is where artists can intervene.
While being focused on the physical distance measures that are coming the signage can be helpful but also beautiful.
To get some inspiration, here are some artists who are experts in floor and wall interventions.
Trevor Wheatley & Cosmo Dean (left)
Toronto-based artists Trevor Wheatley & Cosmo Dean work in collaboration to produce large-scale guerrilla signs and typographic art installations. The two have produced works for companies such as Nike, Stussy, Topshop, Converse, Nordstrom and OVO. Though simple in message, the instillation is striking, and the work and precision of Dean and Wheatley’s pieces can easily be seen and admired. From concept to execution, it is no surprise that the two are called upon by business giants for commercial employment, as their creations leave a lasting imprint on the minds of their viewers.
His ground paintings, murals, and installations have been commissioned throughout North America, also in South America, Europe, and Asia. He has showcased his work with the LAF, the Cirque du Soleil, the Tour de France and Banksy’s Can’s Festival, to name a few. His unique approach of blending art and activism can be seen in his collaborations with such organizations as Greenpeace and Amnesty International. His recognizable brand of street art has been featured and discussed in many of the leading publications on street art in the past two decades.
SUPERFLEX (above, on the right)
SUPERFLEX was founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen and Rasmus Nielsen. With a diverse and complex practice, SUPERFLEX challenge the role of the artist in contemporary society and explores the nature of globalisation and systems of power. SUPERFLEX describe their artworks as tools – thereby suggesting multiple areas of application and use.
Gummy Gue (above)
Gummy Gue (Marco Mangione) is an artist who works mainly in the public space. He knows the graffiti writing environment in the early 2000s, investigating and experimenting with the expressive possibilities that will bring him to contemporary urban art. His work is an open dialogue with the architecture and the environment. Some of his works, such as Playground and Skatepark, have been recognized by magazines and platforms dedicated to design and architecture such as Domus, Designboom, AD Magazine, Architectural Record and many others.
Michael Lin (above)
Lin orchestrates monumental painting installations that re-conceptualize and reconfigure public spaces. Using patterns and designs appropriated from traditional Taiwanese textiles his works have been exhibited in major institutions and international Biennials around the world. Transforming the institutional architecture of the public museum, his unconventional paintings invite visitors to reconsider their usual perception of those spaces, and to become an integral part of the work, giving meaning to its potential as an area for interaction, encounter, and re-creation.
Historically artists have been at the forefront of cultural and societal issues initiating discussions and pushing boundaries. Art has the ability to create an emotional response, communicate complicated and opposing messages, drive social behaviours and create societal change. It also has the power to inspire communities during uncertain times and the current COVID-19 global pandemic is no exception.
We are facing an unprecedented period that requires all of us to be resilient. We want to take the opportunity to showcase various initiatives of the arts community during this time. We have been inspired by artists from around the world who have risen to the challenge to help people get away from it all, or to convey engaging and poignant messages.
The United Nations has called on creatives around the world to help stop the spread of misinformation and promote public health precautions. The UN has a global call out to artists and has created a library of artwork to educate, uplift and inspire. You can visit the library of artwork at UNCovid-19 Creative Content Hub.
Additionally UNESCO has launched the #ResiliArt movement, which, among other things, will consist of a series of global virtual debates with renowned artists and draw support for the cultural world throughout the crisis.
In Canada you can also check out the Social Distancing Festival started by Toronto artist Nick Green. The Social Distancing Festival is an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing.
Because we can’t forget what the frontline workers are going through, you can also check out some work by artists Duyi Han who’s celebrating health workers with a fresco-inspired mural in a chapel.
Artist Thierry Geoffroy uses tents to speak to those who cannot go back to their homes in these times of confinement, because they are homeless or are refugees.
Finally, Til Kolare decided to use his digital art skills to portray the world’s current situation. He gives us a new look at some classic paintings through which the characters distance themselves from others and reveal the reality of a lot of people now: the loneliness and solitude.
We like to see that the creativity of the arts community is not locked in! They always find ways to spread messages through their art, and we will always support them.
This ongoing project is building on Les Printemps du Palais, which featured a variety of creations by local artists and artisans. Highlights of the spring 2019 event included public pianos, collaborative workspaces, creative ping-pong tables, and self-service libraries. The Palais Seasons is being introduced in an effort to keep this excitement going throughout the year. MASSIVart has put together a program that will once again showcase Montréal ingenuity.
“At MASSIVart, we have always believed that art and culture have the power to revitalize public spaces. We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to help Palais des congrès de Montréal bring more creativity to its premises. This iconic institution is a perfect showcase for the city’s creative talent, an open window into Montréal’s culture. In a place where the future of our society is constantly being reshaped, it is important to bring in local artists and creators to reimagine these public spaces as meeting places where surprise and the unexpected can be experienced. Just one more example of how art and culture can be compatible with public and commercial spaces!”
– Philippe Demers, Founder & Creative Director of MASSIVart.
The highlight of the program is without a doubt Seuils by internationally renowned Montréal artist Michel de Broin. Comprising a series of Montréal subway car doors, the art installation forms a path for people to follow. The experience recalls the digestive tract’s ingestion process—the installation breathes and swells to the rhythm of the traffic passing through it, creating a contrast between mechanical structure and organic movement. The work repurposes the door-opening components of the city’s original subway cars, first introduced for the Expo 67 world fair. Recently replaced by newer models, the now obsolete MR-63 subway cars have become an iconic part of Montréal’s public transit history. Seuils will give Palais visitors from all over the world a glimpse into that past.
“After the resounding success of last spring’s program, I am pleased to offer the Palais Seasons year-round to Montrealers and visitors alike. The artwork had an immediate impact on the atmosphere in our creative spaces and this second phase designed by MASSIVart promises to be just as exciting.”
– Robert Mercure, President and CEO of Palais des congrès de Montréal
Visit the Palais des congrès project page to learn more about what we’ve already implemented!
With a background in fine art, visual effects, puppetry and animation, LA-based filmmaker Andrew Thomas Huang crafts hybrid worlds rooted in Sinofuturist folklore, mysticism and spiritual realism. His list of collaborators include Icelandic artist Bjork, among others including Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and FKA Twigs for whom Huang is Grammy-nominated for his fantasy epic “Cellophane.”
By using installation, printmaking or visual performance, Charline questions different notions such as ambivalence, otherness and porosity. Her work tries to dissolve boundaries between absence and presence, real and virtual, synthetic and organic. By integrating slow progressions, video becomes for her an hypnotic tool inviting the audience to feel oneself in the present. Her work has been presented in Paris, Brussels, Toronto and Montreal.
Rihab is a multidisciplinary artist exploring the subject of resolving interpersonal and personal emotional distress through a research-based practice. Her process starts with a need for resolving or translating an issue occurring in her personal life in order to move forward or create a sense of communal understanding.
Eli focuses on animation in potential forms and contexts as well as its representation and exploration in alternative media, including installation, light, sculpture, and video. Eli Schwanz has been profiled by Vice and was Exhibitionist in residence at the CBC. Exhibitions include Chromatic Festival, Gardiner Museum, Animocje Poland, Onsite Gallery, Ignite Gallery, Robert Kananaj Gallery as well as commissions for The Drake and Four Seasons Hotels.
Early bird tickets are on sale until February 29, visit www.agomassive.ca
MASSIVart joins forces with the Art Gallery of Ontario as a Creative Partner for their annual fundraising party AGO Massive, which will take place on Thursday April 16 in Toronto!
Our team of art curators had the chance to collaborate with the renowned gallery to select 4 artists that will be unveiled very soon.
Together for one night only, AGO Massive will feature immersive art installations, exciting performances and irresistible food and drink.
With this event, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s mission is perfectly aligned with our leitmotif which is to bring people together with art to see, experience and understand the world in new ways.
Early bird tickets are on sale, go buy yours on www.agomassive.ca
Philippe Demers, MASSIVart’s founder and global creative director, has been recognized as a “Creative Revolutionary who has lead the way for positive change” by CODAworx this week!
MASSIVart has been included in their list of 25 leaders who have taken a stand through their artwork creations and the spaces they transform.
“Representing a new breed of producers and curators, Philippe Demers, Founding Partner and CEO of MASSIVart, runs an international art consultancy agency in Montreal, Toronto, Mexico City, Shanghai, Paris, Dubai and Los Angeles. Working at the intersection of art and commerce, he collaborates with emerging and established artists, architects, developers, designers and other creatives on architectural design, original works of art, and art-driven cultural programs. His passionate support of innovative art programs have brought MASSIVart a who’s who of high-profile clients.”
As a part of a Public Art festival in the shopping centre Ruihong xintiandi Hall of the Moon in Shanghai, we worked with Beijing Modernsky Culture on a multimedia installation project. We collaborated with artist Christopher Schardt and Building180 agency to produce this large-scale outdoor immersive installation.
Constellation is a star-shaped canopy of 5,400 LED modules. The structure weighs 2000 kg, measures 26′ in diameter and hangs from a single point which will be displayed from November 26 to January 5, 2020.
In 1998, Christopher Schardt’s first Burning Man experience inspired him to apply his engineering and computer skills to art and he has participated in—and brought a major art project to—the event almost every year since. Now widely known for his LED sculptures, he is also the author of LED Lab, an app used by thousands of LED artists worldwide.
MASSIVart has worked in partnership with Chromatic and UltraSuperNew Gallery as well as FRAMED* and MUTEK JP to produce a digital exhibition featuring amazing video artworks by Canadian artist Sabrina Ratté and Japanese artist Yoshi Sodeoka.
We are proud of this cultural exchange between these talented Japanese and Canadian artists! The exhibition took place December 1st-12th, 2019 at the UltraSuperNew Gallery in Tokyo.
Artwork: Yoshi Sodeoka – Sprindrifer
Alejandro Cardoso, former Executive Chairman of Publicis LATAM, has been appointed as the Global CEO & Managing Partner MASSIVart Latin America. With 25+ years experience, Cardoso is considered one of the most influential advertising personalities in Latin America, he left his position in June to join the leadership team at MASSIVArt. Read the press release.
Alejandro, you have held several Executive positions in Mexico and abroad, including: Yahoo, Aeromexico, TBWA, JWT and over the last decade at Publicis Groupe as Executive Chairman for Latín America . Can you tell us about your career path?
Of course. I started as an actor. Mostly theater. To support myself I mixed theater acting with a paying job. So I found the opportunity in the hotel industry where I grew from bell man to CMO. It was a great journey. I quit acting and decided to be part of the advertising and marketing world. I decided to leave the CMO role and moved to the advertising world where I worked at TBWA, Leo Burnett and JWT. I then went back as a client as Aeroméxico’s Sales & Mktg Senior VP , then Citibank’s regional CMO and Yahoo’CEO. My last corporate venture was with Paris based Publicis Groupe where I held different regional roles, my last being Publicis Groupe Latin America Executive Chairman where I led all creative, digital, technology and media operations.
Why did you choose to join MASSIVart?
World class creative work, awesome team, a differentiated, relevant value proposition and huge business potential in Mexico and all around Latin America. I love art and marketing. This partnership brings it all together.
With your arrival, MASSIVart takes a new turn with the opening of a new office, the first in Latin America. What can we expect from MASSIVart Mexico for the coming months?
I aim only at producing spectacular work. Work that will make our competitors jealous, prospects mouths water, clients highly satisfied and the press praising our work. This will result in growth for MASSIVart Inc. and MASSIVart Mexico. I believe Mexico will be the 1st step into MASSIVart’s expansion in Latin America. In the next few years our ambition is to see a MASSIVart operation in the most important markets in the region, incorporating and leading the new trends in the Real Estate, Public Art, Museum Design and Marketing services industries.
How does what MASSIVart offers fit into Mexico’s cultural/art scene and is there a need for it?
It is the perfect fit. Mexico is proud of its cultural and artistic heritage. Mexico has been is and will be an influential country when it comes to art in its many expressions, be it in contemporary art, literature, architecture, music, film making , gastronomy and even in street traditional arts and crafts. Art is everywhere. Massivart will merge this strong cultural heritage of Mexico with a marketing value proposition that combines the best of Mexico with the best of Massivart Inc. it’s a win-win proposition.
Why did you choose to work in the art and culture space?
It is in my DNA. As said before I started my career as an actor. Culture and art have always been around me and has been a passion for me. My father was an actor for some time in his early years then became influential in the advertising industry . My wife is a sublime artist. Most of my family, including my daughter, have a background in the creative industry. So it is part of my DNA, I guess, and an important part of my life. Now, through Massivart, I can combine my passion for art and culture with my extensive business experience.
What kind of art speaks to you the most?
Hard to choose. I’m open to everything . Probably my mind is most blown away with contemporary art. Visual arts and innovative sculpture/art installations get my attention. However, I love cinematography, theater, dance, literature, photography and music. I am an admirer of daring, innovative architecture. I also express myself through cooking, which I consider artistic. Art and culture is a cool way of staying alive and connected.
Since 1992, the Applied Arts Awards have been an internationally recognized standard for creative excellence. It’s the only Canadian competition that recognizes the work of both professionals and students across the visual communications spectrum – covering everyone from image-makers to advertising creatives, marketing gurus to graphic designers.
We won an award with Iregular, Ædifica & iGotcha Media under Environmental/Signage Design category, for the project “RIVER”. This artwork was commissioned by Desjardins to permanently occupy their branch in downtown Montreal. “RIVER” is a 11 meters LED mesh sculpture and a software generated pattern. It listens to the environment to represent it evolving constantly and infinitely, day and night.
We interviewed Maxim Céré-Marcoux , the new CFO of MASSIVart.
1. Tell us a little about your background and past work experience?
I am born and raised in Montreal and studied accounting at Concordia University, after which I obtained by CPA title and left to work in San Francisco for a few years. I have worked in financial and accounting advisory for 6 years now, providing consulting to companies of various sizes, operating in different industries and with their respective set of opportunities and challenges. Little did I know that working at an art gallery as a student would spark an interest for the art world that sadly very few people with a background such as mine get to have.
2. What drew you to MASSIVart?
The magnetic energy and dedication of its partners, the ability of the agency to uniquely position its service offering by enhancing them with local and international art and its restless desire to grow without losing its originality.
3. What do you bring to MASSIVart?
I bring a set of skills in the financial and accounting fields coupled with a strong interest and fascination for art that I hope will allow me to help MASSIVart in a distinctive way to be well positioned to successfully seize opportunities as they emerge given the company’s continuing success and growth.
4. How does what MASSIVart offers fit into the global cultural/art scene and is there a need for it?
MASSIVart, in thriving to remain unique and differentiated, always delivers its services to undoubtedly exceed customer expectations but also actively engages our global community in making room for art in our everyday lives. MASSIVart plays a critical role in the art community by carefully curating the inputs of its creative process in a way to highlight the artistic community and further its exposure.
5. What would be your dream project and/or client?
I am especially excited to be joining the company at a time where so many growth and diversification opportunities have presented themselves and hope to assist the partner group by bringing another perspective to the table as well as a different set of skills which will hopefully help in determining which ones, if not all, to pursue, when and how.
6. Why did you choose to work in the art and culture space?
For quite some time now, my intention has been to transition to the artist/cultural field. Perhaps my interest stems from my personal lack of artistic creative energy. By working, even in a financial advisory capacity, in the artistic field, I feel like in my own way I contribute to furthering a community of creative spirits by other means than by creating art myself.
7. What kind of art speaks to you the most?
Regardless of the form it takes, art plays a crucial role in shaping public opinions and in initiating cultural shifts. Art speaks to me the most when it takes advantage of its unparalleled ability to touch people while at their most open state to purposefully expose a societal issue and compel awareness.
8. What about the future of art are you most looking forward to?
I think art is mankind’s most unique contribution to the world and will most likely play out to be the hardest concept for artificial intelligence to decypher and understand. While it will eventually be able to copy certain pieces and/or artists and perhaps even understand art by channeling the analysis of other art enthusiasts, it will never truly be able to innovate and create art in its true form, which entirely relies on the ingenuity of the human mind. I am most excited by the role art will play on artificial intelligence as it may be one of the only areas that does not show any potential for it to be completely overtaken.
MASSIVart is looking for artists, creators and professionals working in the digital sector. We are currently developing a directory to support more inclusive organizational practices and cultural diversity. This directory aims to provide a platform for professionals of the digital sector from visible minorities* through which they can be contacted for potential projects and job offers that match their expertise.
Therefore, we are launching a public campaign in cultural communities and digital networks to gather profiles interested in joining this directory. To do so, interested people are invited to complete the online form here.
Targeted digital sectors: Interactive media, Digital arts, Video games, Photographs, Visual arts, Design, Music, Podcasting, Sound recording, Animation, Film, Television
*Visible minorities are defined based on the Employment Equity Act definition as persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour and include Chinese, South Asian, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Southeast Asian, Arab, West Asian, Japanese, Korean, other visible minorities and multiple visible minorities. (Source: Statistics Canada)
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Bed-in, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s iconic performance to promote peace that took place at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal.
MASSIVart worked with the prestigious 5-star hotel and Sid Lee Architecture to curate a unique experience for the famous Suite 1742 where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their Bed-In back in 1969.
In this very room, the couple stayed in bed for a week, receiving guests and conducting interviews with the media. On the last day of their performance they recorded the now-famous song “Give Peace A Chance” while still in bed.
Our team researched, produced and curated a 360 immersive throwback experience for the suite, allowing the guests to witness an exclusive glimpse of the hectic ambiance that took place in the room. The unique museum experience we developed includes three interactive devices, a virtual reality movie, an interactive archive cabinet displaying photos, archives, videos and heirloom objects, as well as commission artworks inspired by the performance.
We are extremely proud to have been able to revamp this historical space using art and culture to highlight the wonderful message of peace that John and Yoko delivered and that resonates just as much today as it did back in 1969.
Our team has always believed in the power of art to transform spaces and this story shows it can change lives too!
Kian Nojoumian, a talented 16 year old pianist who recently moved to Canada without his piano found joy in the new public pianos we recently installed at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. While playing he caught the ear of everyone passing through with his own compositions. Maddy Samaddar visiting from New York, was passing through the space and was so moved by his exceptional talent she learned more about him and posted Kian’s story on Facebook. The post caught the attention of Jason Howland, Grammy-award winning musical theatre composer, playwrite, conductor and musical director & producer who has gifted Kian with a new piano to practice at home. Jason asked that he continue to play at the Palais and to spread joy to the visitors.
We’re so proud to have been a part of this project. Read more below:
Piano painted by Cyndie Belhumeur
Philippe Demers, CEO & Founding Partner of MASSIVart sits on the global arts grants jury for the renowned desert festival.
MASSIVart CEO & Founding Partner, Philippe Demers, was invited to be a part of the Burning Man Arts global grants committee for the renowned festival that takes place annually in the desert of Nevada, USA. Dedicated to funding artistic projects that are inspiring, interactive, accessible and most importantly, community-driven, the program funds various projects that become part of the festival and beyond. The arts grants offers up to $10,000 USD per project and has contributed over $750,000 USD to date, funding in total more than 160 projects from over 25 different countries.
The selection committee is comprised of nine members with various creative backgrounds. Having a cultural expert from Montreal (Canada) at the jury table for a global event of this size shines a spotlight on the country’s influence and expertise in the arts.
For over ten years, Philippe has been a part of the global cultural and artistic scene and looks forward to contributing to the development of these high-caliber artistic projects. “I am very happy to be able to participate in the selection of artists that will be receiving a grant. Supporting creators in their artistic process contributes not only to their growth, but also to the development of the artistic and cultural scene by making it more accessible. Platforms such as Burning Man also enables international discussion and makes it possible for relationships to form between people, cultures and nations.”
Philippe is deeply passionate and committed to the Montreal and international cultural community and through his experiences in cultural management and artistic production he continues to demonstrate his creativity and leadership skills whether in Canada or abroad. Demers also founded Chromatic, a non-profit festival aimed at promoting artistic entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation in Montréal. Prior to the Burning Man Arts global grants jury, Philippe was a part of other like-minded committees such as South x Southwest (SXSW) festival that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries from 2016 to 2017 and the Printemps Numérique, a non-profit organisation whose primary mission is to boost digital creation and creativity through various local activities from 2013 to 2015 as an art consultant and curator for both platforms.