question of the day: Where is the dividing line between art and advertising?

Last month, Trafalgar Square in London was lit up by an artificial sun. I’m sorry I missed it, because it sounds like it was something extraordinary to see. From The Washington Post’s Style Blog:

The sun, which appeared for one day only, rose at 6:51 a.m. on Jan. 23, and set at 7:33 p.m., extending “daylight” in the area for three hours. The sun took six months to construct, and can reach more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit at its core. It produces the equivalent light of 60,000 light bulbs.


Trafalgar Square sun


The Trafalgar Square installation also tested the boundaries between advertising and art, as the project was sponsored by Tropicana to promote its “Brighter Morning” campaign for its juice. Does the corporate sponsorship nullify the entire project’s status as an art object, or does it merely provide the funds to realize great ideas that wouldn’t otherwise happen? Advertising is taken more seriously when it’s considered to be art, but it has the opposite effect when the terms are reversed.

True. The question is apropos, too, to the spate of Super Bowl ads we’ve just been bombarded with, some of which have the potential to be appreciated as short films, not just as marketing.

So: Where is the dividing line between art and advertising? Can the two ever be separated? Do you find it harder to appreciate something as art if its primary purpose is to sell something to you?

Thanks to bronxbee for the Washington Post link.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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