A positive picture: How banks are presenting their art treasures in a better light
Banks hold a lot of art, but how can they justify owning valuable collections, which have no practical use, when their previous extravagances have left their stakeholders in such pain?
Any visitor to Deutsche Bank’s UK head office will know the lobby’s flamboyant contemporary art – the giant Damien Hirst dots painting and a steel sculpture by Anish Kapoor. Its New York office greets visitors with a massive, swirling triptych by another contemporary art superstar, Gerhard Richter.
Around the world, the scene is replicated at Deutsche and many other banks, which act like modern-day Medicis in art and finance.
The biggest repository of art at Deutsche – and perhaps of any company – is in its global headquarters in Frankfurt. The explosive top floor is reserved for Cai Guo-Qiang, who directed the fireworks at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. Among his works, Deutsche owns ‘Head on’, a huge installation of 99 snarling stuffed wolves, all throwing themselves against a glass wall.