Phillips & BLACK - 2019 Collaboration

For BLACK’s latest installment of fusing underground music with its signature immersive art experiences, Phillips is being tapped to play with the visually abstract language of both nights. The international auction house’s nontraditional collaboration with BLACK is an inaugural showcase of Phillips’ new partnership with online digital art platform Daata Editions.

Working with BLACK means subverting the conventional expressions of video art in an unexpected space of mixed media. This is why Phillips chose the event to highlight some of Daata’s most interesting digital artworks and bring the conversation surrounding the monetization of intangible art to an entirely different stage. Today we dive into conversation with Daata Editions Director David Gryn and Phillips’ Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer Cathy Elkies. Also in the mix is Max Pollack, one of the founders of MATTE Projects, the creative brain behind BLACK.

Interview Guests
David Gryn: Director - DAATA Editions
Cathy Elkies: Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer - Phillips
Max Pollack: Founder - MATTE Projects

David Gryn
Director - DAATA Editions

How do you see digital art in events like BLACK building upon people who are passionate in the arts and collecting?

Daata Editions commissioning a collaboration with Phillips is a way to speak to an audience that is already passionate about art collecting and have a trusted relationship with such an esteemed auction house. The relationship with BLACK builds new possibilities of communicating to audiences who may be newer to contemporary art appreciation and collection, and particularly speaking to this generation for whom digital media is innate and is indeed their natural language, Daata presented by Phillips at Black, showcasing video artworks by Rashaad Newsome, Tin Ojeda and Lu Yang, provides them with an accessible and exciting entry point into the contemporary artworld.

Cathy Elkies
Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer - Phillips

Can you briefly explain the fruition of this partnership between Phillips and Daata Editions?

Phillips has a long history of introducing new collecting categories to the market. The Phillips and Daata partnership came together as a way for us to support artists working in cutting-edge and emerging digital mediums through commissioning artworks. The commission project gave us an opportunity to introduce two exciting, young artists to our collector base who represent a new generation of contemporary art makers. The artworks will be exhibited at Phillips and distributed through Daata’s online platform which offers a seamless, very 21st century way to discover and collect digitally-native artworks.

As the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Phillips, what are some advantages with partnerships in music events like BLACK?

Though at our core we are a platform for art and design, whether it be through live or online auctions or selling exhibitions, we also see ourselves as purveyors of culture. At Phillips, we always strive to contribute to ideas at the intersection of contemporary art and culture through events and programming. Having the unique opportunity to partner with MATTE Projects on an event as immersive and inventive as BLACK not only aligns with our philosophy, but gives us unique exposure to a demographic of people deeply interested in art, music and experience. We hope that through this partnership, we can engage with a new audience of like-minded individuals. We are excited to introduce them to Phillips and illustrate how we interact with some of the most important art of the 20th and 21st century.

Max Pollack
Founder - MATTE Projects

Since 2013, BLACK has been at the forefront of including visuals artists seamlessly into music events. What is your thought process in selecting visual artists?

BLACK started out as an expression of an aesthetic. The palette was minimal (black and white) and it was about celebrating underground NY culture and the irreverence and rawness of it through music and art. As BLACK evolved, the visual language matured to be as important as the sonic expression within the space. The visual art and form became a foundation and environment to express the aesthetic.

I think our original spirit has stayed with us in our selection of the visual artists. We look for emerging and establishing artists challenging the status quo. We like artists who irreverently play between the establishment and are challenging their traditional art practices with their own claimed spaces. We seek immersive art where audiences can participate as a group. And each year we build a thematic lens for BLACK - this year we wanted art that played with the duality of dark and light. We wanted pieces that inspired a bit of positivity and humanity, especially given the alienation and despair of our current political and digital landscape.

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