For 17 years running, Netjets has partnered with Art Basel (opens in new tab) to welcome fair visitors with a dedicated lounge space, a celebration of the private aviation company’s commitment to art and design. It has traditionally commissioned artists to create site-specific works for its spaces – and this year was no exception as it called upon painter and street artist Oli-B to create a work inspired by air travel.
The Belgian artist’s signature style features graphic compositions of bold colours created through a variety of media, from spray paint to digital and screen-printing techniques. His works to date have included commissions for public spaces, sculptures and products.
For Art Basel (opens in new tab) this year, Netjets tasked Oli-B with illustrating the experience of traveling on one of its aircrafts. The artist created a large triptych of paintings – hung at the lounge’s entrance – and a series of smaller figures that adorn a corner of the space.
Oli-B’s installation may seem entirely abstract at first sight, but the artist has incorporated recognisable elements among the colourful shapes, such as a cockpit, or the nose and of airplane – but most of the sinuous forms are open to interpretations.
There is no right or wrong here: Oli-B keeps this visual playground free of boundaries to let viewers imagine their journey through the images. Some visitors may see outlines of countries and geographic morphology; others might find stylised birds and clouds.
‘It’s a call to a dreamy journey,’ explains the artist. ‘When you fly, you can also dream, and to capture this quality I took inspiration from the design of a plane in the sky and the evasion of reality. The painting will invite visitors to travel in it, and bring them good feelings, serenity and positive energy.’
Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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