Monday, July 16, 2007

Marketing Art - David Hockney at Salts Mill

This weekend I visited Salts Mill in Bradford to visit the permanent David Hockney exhibition. For those who don't know, Hockney is one of the world's most celebrated "pop" artists. Andy Warhol is one of his contemporaries.

Hockney was born and bred in Bradford so it's a great testament to the city to combine a great old Mill complex at Saltaire with the city's most famous son.

Inside the Mill is where things are really cleverly marketed. The whole thing is run on the basis of a museum so it's free to enter and look around. Where the marketing comes in is with the congruency of the things available to buy. In the centre of the gallery are hundreds of high quality books on all subjects for all ages. On the second floor is a restaurant dedicated to Hockney. Not some fake themed thing. They just hang great original artwork and photographs around and combine it with great food. The queue to be seated is massive.

To tie in with this there's a great shop selling top line home ware. The shop has Le Corbusier and other great designers, at £3000 for a chair this is no ordinary home store.

Because Salts Mill has carefully chosen what they display and who they display it to, no one feels marketed to. And that's the really, really clever bit.

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