Is Advertising Art? Famous Artists Tackle the Debate for The New York Times

Jami Oetting
Jami Oetting




Branding no longer only applies to blue chip companies wanting to increase awareness or corporations dealing with a crisis.

It is a tool everyone from authors to entrepreneurs to recent college grads are employing.

But what does this changing world of marketing mean for artists? A group that is known for its secrecy and self-imposed seclusion. While the artist's product has always been a matter of public debate, the artist usually projects a layer of privacy to separate the creator from the creation.

In a recent issue of The New York Times Style Magazine, the editors asked 15 artists to market themselves by designing a print ad. It's a interesting exercise as the debate on whether advertising can be art is a ongoing debate.

Consider Bill Bernbach's words:

There are a lot of great technicians in advertising. And unfortunately they talk the best game. They know all the rules ... but there's one little rub. They forget that advertising is persuasion, and persuasion is not a science, but an art. Advertising is the art of persuasion.

David Ogilvy opposed this view:

I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.

Check out the below ads, and consider the question: What makes an advertisement art?

Carol Bove carol-bove

Pawel Althamer



Rirkrit Tiravanija



Barbara Kruger



Ed Atkins



Dan Colen


Jenny Holzer


Korakrit Arunanondchai


View the complete collection of ads at The New York Time Style Magazine.

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