Brands distinguish things from one another. In marketing, essentially anything can be considered a brand, from a pack of gum or a tube of toothpaste to a magazine, a school, an airline, a hospital, or a country. NBC is a brand. So is Newsweek. Harvard, as one of the world’s most prestigious universities, has done well marketing its brand image and licensing its name for use in a variety of merchandise. When Florida, Mexico, New York, or Paris advertise for tourism, they are positioning these locations as brands, packaged as any other product might be. They are more than names in that as brands, they must convey an image and seek an emotional response. From a marketing perspective, it is useful to note which brands appeal to which generation, or to more than one generation, and ask why this is the case.
In the fine arts, there are many brands. They are usually referred to as Movements or “-isms,” but the fact remains that the word Surrealism calls up as much of an emotional response as Coca-Cola. Pop Art evokes the Psychedelic Sixties (another brand, by the way); Dada invokes early-century Paris; and Postmodernism is still pouring from the mouths of art teachers reminiscing about the early-eighties.
To a certain extent, in order to succeed an artist must become a brand unto themself. Not only do they need name recognition, they also need that name to invoke a style, a work, a gut reaction.
It was with this in mind that Harvey Loves Harvey created YOUR HARVEY AT WORK. First and foremost, this video is an artist statement for Harvey; it lays out the brand and what it stands for. However, YOUR HARVEY AT WORK also pokes fun at the artist-as-corporate-brand mentality by positioning Harvey Loves Harvey as a company ‘involved in all aspects of your life, in some ways you may not even be aware of.’ Just as ‘Pepsi is the choice of a new generation,’ YOUR HARVEY AT WORK claims success in the very pursuit the work is attempting to undertake. Simply, the work is a successful marketing brand because it tells you so.
Quote from “Future Marketing” by Joe Marconi
NTC Business Books / American Marketing Association, First Printing, 2001
Created by request of Oni Gallery in Boston for an ‘Artist Statement Slam’ in conjunction with their sixth salon show (titled appropriately “Overhung”), YOUR HARVEY AT WORK was shown once in 2002. In 2004 the first half was re-shot for exhibitions at Spaceworks @ The Tank in New York and Artist Foundation in Boston.
YOUR HARVEY AT WORK was featured in ASPECT: A CHRONICLE OF NEW MEDIA in 2005, for the issue “Joie De Vivre”.