Left, Screenshot of IBM’s “Mehretu” video on YouTube, and right, Julie Mehretu’s Goldman Sachs mural in Lower Manhattan (click to enlarge)

We all know that money doesn’t necessarily mean taste, and taste doesn’t necessarily earn you any money, but according to two three major corporate overlords (Goldman Sachs and IBM and Deutsche Bank) the artist of choice for big corporate capitalists is abstract artist Julie Mehretu.

First it was the Goldman Sachs mural for their new building in lower Manhattan — which people appear to be eager to touch — and now IBM is riffing off her style for an animate video about commercial data transportation. I wonder if it freaks Mehretu out a little that the big wigs in corporate America seem to “get” her.

I’m sensing a corporate zeitgeist kinda moment.

ALSO: I almost forgot Mehretu’s Deutsche Bank Series which is up at the Guggenheim Museum until October 6, 2010.

Hat tip @felixsalmon and @tylergreendc

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12 replies on “Who Is the Favorite Artist of the Corporate Overlords?”

  1. That makes a lot of sense. From the Business Insider article: “The way Mehretu’s looks is a matter of taste, but what’s underneath those colorful shapes is undeniably cool: four layers of markings that refer to the history of capitalism.” It might be the other way around; it looks undeniably cool but the history of capitalism is mater of taste.

    1. I saw what she said to the New Yorker (the link is in the post) but I wonder what she really thinks. I can’t imagine what she could have possibly said otherwise to the media, I don’t expect her to denounce them 😉

  2. I can’t recall if this was talked about in the New Yorker, it was at least hinted at, but the whole scene reminded me of Charlton Heston painting the Sistine Chapel in the “Agony and the Ecstasy.” I mean the kind of uneasy but placated acceptance of compromised values and ethics in favor of bottomless corporate money affording the artist’s dream of completing an “important masterpiece.” Michelangelo illustrating the Bible, Heaven and Hell seems about as high concept as Mehretu depicting the history of Capitalism.

    A stretch? Yeah…

  3. So, if thats the premise, what do we argue for? The slim possibility of a masterpiece? or the better ethics of denouncing Goldman Sachs and thus, finding fault in Mehretu for painting the mural?

    I liked Mehretu throughout the New Yorker piece because she tried to individuate herself apart from the scandal and bad business of Sachs in favor of making the art despite where the money came from. The art seems to me (and to her) a higher ideal, divorced from morality, which I think good art should strive to do. I think I always argue in favor of good artists. Although, I agree she probably isn’t discussing any mixed feelings with the media, despite having them (I hope).

    This contradiction is very Catholic.

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