Diesel S.p.A, a high-fashion clothing company based in Italy, has always supported the arts. But in the last few of years, theyâ€™ve created the ultimate opportunity for artistic expression with a contest called â€œThe Diesel Wall.â€ Through this art competition, artists of all kinds have the chance to display their works on a selected diesel wall in various cities around the world. Thereâ€™s no limitation, and no expectation â€“ all that is asked of each contestant is that they follow the mandate of what they consider to be true art, and as you already know, art is in the eyes of the maker. Format caught up with Renzo Rosso to talk about one of the most anticipated art competitions for 2008.
â€œWe look for â€˜wallsâ€™ that will be seen by everyone walking by! It can be on a corner in NYC, a sports stadium in Zurich, Switzerland, or a glass structure in Manchester, UK. All â€˜wallsâ€™ are in great cities around the world, and present an enormous canvas for the artist.â€
Format: What is the true genesis of this competition?
Renzo Rosso: This competition is one-of-a-kind because this is devoted to everyone, anywhere. Diesel is offering the opportunity to change the urban landscape by showcasing the artists’ work on an extraordinary scale in different cities and countries around the world! Weâ€™ve fully supported the arts for many years now, and we know there is nothing more gratifying for an artist than to have his or her work to be shared by all!
Format: What is your process for selecting the designated walls for the competition?
Renzo Rosso: We look for â€˜wallsâ€™ that will be seen by everyone walking by! It can be on a corner in NYC, a sports stadium in Zurich, Switzerland, or a glass structure in Manchester, UK. All â€˜wallsâ€™ are in great cities around the world, and present an enormous canvas for the artist.
Format: Will there eventually be an art exhibition for all the winners both past and present?
Renzo Rosso: Although I think it would be amazing, it could be a very interesting possibility.
Format: Have you actually considered hiring on some of the previous winners for design campaigns with Diesel?
Renzo Rosso: In the advertising campaigns, we put a lot of ourselves into them, [these campaigns are] the best tool to express Dieselâ€™s lifestyle and state of mind; that being said, good ideas and good creativity can come from everywhere!
Format: Can you describe what it was about Artemis Psathas’s work that deserved to win?
Renzo Rosso: Artemisâ€™ work considers the view, that as human beings, we are not as free as we think we are. And her work raises the possibility that we have come to accept the obvious and are not currently capable of retrospection. The Toronto wall was the perfect medium for this introspective piece, it gave pedestrians a much needed space to contemplate his message.
Format: Some of the artwork can be misinterpreted by art aficionados at first glance, during the competition; do the finalists get a chance to go into further detail about their artwork to paint a clearer picture?
Renzo Rosso: Diesels’ worldwide PR network will ensure the word is out there on the winning artist as well as on the philosophy behind their work.
Format: When it comes to this particular competition, what is considered good art?
Renzo Rosso: Diesel Wall accepts all works of art! We will take your art, your power of dissuasion, your ability to disrupt, incite and intrigue, mystify and comment â€“ the artist can use paint, photography, video, and performance, light, sound, text, experimental concepts including 3D, performance and show elements are also welcome. Our jury will be looking for something explosive, something that makes you think. Works of art that are controversial, inspiring, or art the just makes you feel!
Format: For the winners of the competition, how much time do they have to transpose their artwork on to the final wall?
Renzo Rosso: Each countries time line is a little different but for the US wall in NY the winner will be announced on June 10, 2008 and their art will go up June 20, 2008, through September 2008.
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