2017 Tiffany & Co. Outset Studiomakers Prize


ARTISTIC FLOURISH: It’s not easy being a young artist — and Tiffany is hoping to ease the burden on talents in London.

“Studio space is very expensive in London; it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. There’s a big disconnect between the cost of living and being an artist here,” said Richard Moore, vice president and creative director, store design and creative visual merchandising at Tiffany & Co., during an event in Soho aimed at supporting young artists.

Tiffany is looking to help by supporting the Studiomakers prize with the international art fund Outset. Seven artists will receive rent-free studio space, and Moore said there may be an opportunity for Tiffany to work with those artists on pieces for its London stores.

“This is a continuation of our legacy within the arts,” said Moore, whose team was responsible for lining the walls of the recently opened Milan store with works by local artists.

“Studiomakers is part of a much bigger program and you’ll see Tiffany supporting the arts in many different ways in coming years,” he said.

Earlier this week, Outset and Tiffany awarded the prize of free studio space to seven recent MA graduates from London’s top art schools. The fund has purchased new studios in north London. Each of the seven prize winners — Daniel Curtis, Jiaqing Mo, Tomasz Kobialka, Jade Blackstock, Natalie Kynigopoulou, Simona Sharafudinov and Fani Parali — will be able to use them, rent-free, over the next 12 months.

The prize-giving took place in an underground venue off Carnaby Street in London’s West End. Following cocktails, the curtains that lined two walls of the room dropped, revealing the artists’ works, which had been produced in a range of media including digital, performance, installation and print.

Sharafudinov, who graduated this year from Central St. Martins, said: “It’s a really, really tough time to be an artist. There is a lack affordable studio space, and rising living costs. Shrinking living spaces make it difficult to make and store work in one’s habitat. With this particular initiative focusing on graduating artists, I think they are focusing on the area that needs most support, which is the provision of studio space for emerging artists.”

British artist Eddie Peake called the prize “a remarkable gift to London, especially in this moment when spaces for artists, and support and funding for the arts in general are so under threat.”

Philanthropic support of young artists is part of the brand’s history. Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, was a young artist and leader of the Art Nouveau movement. He eventually became the brand’s first design director in 1902.

In the Fifties, the jeweler’s head of design Gene Moore recruited Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg at the start of their careers to create dramatic window displays. Earlier this year the jeweler signed on as a sponsor for the Whitney Biennial, which shows works by contemporary American artists.

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