When you think “artist,” what immediately comes to mind? Georges Seurat, meticulously dabbing paint onto a canvas for two solid years to create A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte?
Or maybe Pepsi?
The New York Times writes that the soft drink giant has signed a massive, $50 million deal with Beyoncé, a “hybrid project” that will go beyond advertising. Specifically: The campaign includes “a multimillion-dollar fund to support the singer’s chosen creative projects.” So… more documentaries about Beyoncé? Well, maybe — according to the Times, these collaborations could include “live events, videos, ‘a cool photo shoot’ or almost anything else.”
“Pepsi embraces creativity and understands that artists evolve,” Sasha Fierce’s alter ego said in a statement, no doubt thinking of this classic commercial featuring Britney Spears. “As a businesswoman, this allows me to work with a lifestyle brand with no compromise and without sacrificing my creativity.” Jessie Eisenberg’s sister definitely agrees.
Though all this language about creativity may seem disingenuous, there is some precedent to PepsiCo acting as a patron for artistic endeavors; as the Times points out, the company has released free music by indie acts like Matt & Kim through its Mountain Dew-financed label Green Label Sound. And it’s not like art and commerce have never intersected before. So I’m looking forward to what Bey’s big contract really leads to — beyond ads and Pepsi cans emblazoned with her flawless face. Maybe the superstar should see if her husband or her sister have any cool ideas?