Louis Vuitton in partnership with London art institutions the Whitechapel Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts and Tate Britain, have launched REcreative. It’s a new website where emerging artists can post their work and learn how more established creatives start their careers. The website is for arts events and exhibitions through exclusive online content.
Users can click their way through channels like ‘Projects’ (where aspiring artists can upload works for evaluation by working artists and critics), ‘What’s On’ and ‘Experts’ (interviews with creative authorities) to discover the stories behind the creations. ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about contemporary art and get involved,’ says artist Tracey Emin, currently the subject of a major career retrospective at the Hayward Gallery. ‘It would have been amazing to have had this chance when I was that age.’ Two hundred young Londoners, aged 13-25 will be invited to take part in a three year arts and education program which gives them access to the inner workings of the art world. The REcreative website offers five sections for young people to engage with the arts. REcreative also lets online visitors enter to win trips to artists’ studios, gain access to high profile art events and discuss their work with leading figures in the arts community, and the website offers a “What’s On” section, guest curated by a new artist each month and featuring a selection of the best new exhibitions.
In a statement, group CEO Yves Carcelle said the initiative was a natural extension of Vuitton’s ‘long-standing’ support for contemporary arts. ‘[W]e see our role in facilitating diverse access to exciting contemporary art projects. We are delighted with the peer-led approach the website is taking and cannot wait to see the innovative projects the young people will be creating in response to what they see and learn through exchange and collaborations made possible through REcreative and the Young Arts Project.’
REcreative isn’t the first digital outlet to invite young artists to upload their work for evaluation—Saatchi has been doing it for years—but it does represent a major crossover for Vuitton. Now, instead of covering handbags with Stephen Sprouse-style scrawls or sending Richard Prince-inspired nurses down the catwalk, the label has positioned itself as an authority and career-maker for developing artists. In return, the brand enhances the aura of artistic legitimacy around its luxury products. And energetic art collector Marc Jacobs gets first crack at emerging artists, making it an attractive prospect for everyone involved.
What is REcreative?
REcreative was devised by a group of young people who came together through the Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project in 2010. Inspired by a visit to MDM Props and a lengthy discussion about process, collaboration and creation, a group of 12 young people developed a website that would inspire interest in contemporary art amongst their peers, that would offer information and insight into the workings of the professional art world and that, most importantly, would be an online community for young people to share and showcase their own work.
The website team worked with the design agency SIFT for 12 months, coming up with the REcreative brand and all the elements of the site you can see today – the Ideas Factory, the Experts, Projects, What’s On and Opportunities. You can meet the web team and see for yourself what was involved.
REcreative is a word that was invented to reflect the interest of the participants in creating new work that references or reinterprets existing works and concepts. It refers to process and that’s what this website explores and celebrates.
Here’s a short film made by some members of the REcreative web team that tells you a bit more about what the site does and, more importantly, how to use it:
Artists including Ryan Gander, Michael Landy, Bob and Roberta Smith, Michael Craig-Martin, Jessica Voorsanger, Fiona Banner, Sam Taylor-Wood and Keith Tyson have all donated their time and t-shirts and to be in the running to win you simply need to sign up before 9 July 2011. Visit ReCreative