Thursday, April 24, 2008

Step Right Up and win a Commissioned Painting!

Absent-mindedly flipping through Vogue magazine, I came across an interesting ad campaign by Mastercard. A very small white envelope was attached to a blank page. It was sealed with a mock wax seal, and contained a small note card informing me that I had not won the price of a unique commissioned Julian Schnabel portrait. I hadn't won, but I was still very impressed with both the available prize and the (expensive) Marketing campaign.

As it turns out, Mastercard is giving away a few "priceless" awards: the portrait, a one-week, multi continent culinary experience with a chef, and an elaborate trip abroad. The cooking and the trip are pretty typical, but I love that a commissioned portrait is a prize. I don't think since the 18th century has a painting been such a noted prize, and I can't see why not.

By the way, Julian Schnabel is an American artist, born in Brooklyn in 1951, but now lives in Texas. He was first recognized as major painting force after his first solo show at the Mary Boone Gallery in 1979. In the 1980s, he had become a major figure in the Neo-expressionism movement. He is now famous for "plate paintings"—large-scale paintings set on broken ceramic plates.

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