The power of the popular

Berenice Golmann is a 3D artist and motion designer born in Paris but is currently based in the United States. She works primarily within the worlds of fashion and branding, her clients including Hermes, LVMH, Nike, Selfridges and Teen Vogue to name a mere few. She blends this notion of high-end branding and a focus on social impact with an examination of the digital, successfully pushing the limits of the frontiers of the potential of art and reality.

Her Instagram page is a sea of bright and pastel colours, swirling forms and an overwhelming sense of the natural world. There are numerous images of cactus flowers, exotic plants, wide-open landscapes, and rippling waves. Looking closer at some of these, however, one suddenly notices that the petals of one flower, in particular, are actually the infamous Nike swoosh, reimagined as a golden sunflower. This image was designed to highlight the brand’s efforts at reducing waste in their contribution to the environmental campaigns to help save our planet.

The artist has put the brand at the centre of the flower’s form, and yet the flat gold of the swoosh prohibits it from blending into the more natural flowers that surround it, keeping that all-important icon at the forefront of the image and thus ensuring the brand is at the centre of the viewer’s eye. This is a fantastic example of the contemporary demands that affect the digital artist. Golmann seamlessly blends a successful artistic visual composition with the aims of the company that has commissioned the piece, ensuring that one does not take over from the other. This, therefore, exists as both a marketing scheme and also an artwork, showing how the two can and must exist alongside each other as the two worlds collide and yet could also exist as either one independently of the other and would remain equally effective.

Reuse, recycle, Berenice Golmann, 2020

Another motion piece shows a pink square scarf cascading down some stone steps. A simple composition made effective through Golmann’s gentle inclusion of subtle movement. The scarf just rustles slightly in a breeze as the water at the bottom of the step ripples, reflecting the pink of the material. This clever marketing for Hermes not only shows the beauty of their iconic silk scarfs, allowing the intricate pattern and bold colours to remain at the centre of the image but it also implies the high-class lifestyle of the ideal Hermes client. The soft breeze, pale stone steps, and clear rippling water all suggest an exotic warm climate, a beach or swimming pool setting, the shadow of a palm tree leaf shimmering over the stone steps. This luxurious streak continues through the multiple images Golmann created for Hermes, each so unique yet clearly forming a series and one that brilliantly conveys the ethos of the brand.

The direction of Golmann’s clients and reach reveals a continuation of the recent shift within the worlds of fashion and beauty towards an embracing of digital art. In recent years it seems as though the big players in fashion recognised the growing potential of digital imagery, seeing it as a way to create brand marketing that was distinct from competitors and also appear as uber-modern with a finger on the pulse of the up and coming - a quality with undeniable importance in a world that relies on being popular and on-trend to make profits. Through Golmann’s work, we can see how the digital is becoming the way to go when it comes to art, branding, and marketing with social sites such as Instagram being a key cog in the machine.

Her work is a visual challenge that often combines linear and curved lines, nature and the scientific, bright pastels and deep earth tones. However, each example is shimmering and captivating through these very contrasts. In this, we can see the potential and wonder of digital art as these contrasts can appear alongside each other, challenge one another, and yet function with fluidity and in complete harmony. Golmann’s Instagram page is a cave of captivating, almost hypnotic moving images and serves as a reminder of what such online sites were originally made for. However, it is clear that the monumentality and undoubtable popularity of the images that the artist makes are destined for the huge windows of the stores that pave London’s Bond Street, LA’s Rodeo Drive, Paris’s Champs-Élysées. There is immeasurable potential in the relationship between digital art and the marketing world and Golmann’s unique style will be as iconic as the brands that she works with as the digital art world continues to expand.

Follow Gabriella on her Instagram @gabsyloo_