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Artist brand building: towards a spatial perspective

Jenny Sjöholm (Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden)
Cecilia Pasquinelli (Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden)

Arts Marketing: An International Journal

ISSN: 2044-2084

Article publication date: 30 September 2014




The purpose of this paper is to analyse how contemporary artists construct and position their “person brands” and reflects on the extent to which artist brand building results from strategic brand management.


A conceptual framework proposes a spatial perspective on artist brand building to reach an analytical insight into the case of visual artists in London. The empirical analysis is qualitative, based on serial and in-depth interviews, complemented by participant observations.


Artist brand building relies on the creation and continuous redefinition of “in-between spaces” that exist at the blurred boundaries separating an individual and isolated art studio, and the social and visible art scene. Artist brand building is a bundle of mechanisms that, mainly occurring without strategic thinking, are “nested” within the art production process throughout which learning, producing and performing are heavily intertwined.

Research limitations/implications

This study was undertaken with a focus on visual artists and specific operations and spatialities of their individual art projects. Further empirical research is required in order to fully explore the manifold of practices and spatialities that constitute contemporary artistic practice.

Practical implications

This study fosters artists’ awareness of branding effects that spillover from artistic production, and thus potentially opens the way to a more strategic capitalization on these.


The adopted spatial perspective on the process of artist brand building helps to uncover “relatively visible” and “relatively invisible” spatialities that, usually overlooked in branding debate, play a significant role in artist brand building.



Sjöholm, J. and Pasquinelli, C. (2014), "Artist brand building: towards a spatial perspective", Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 4 No. 1/2, pp. 10-24.



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