ART TO PROTECT
ART TO SUPPORT
Wedel Art Collective launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing on the power of contemporary art to raise funds for international relief efforts and artist support. Six leading international artists: Jenny Holzer, Rashid Johnson, Barbara Kruger, Raymond Pettibon, Lorna Simpson and Rosemarie Trockel, have created face masks, each an artistic response to current times. Together we aim to encourage sustainable mask-wearing to protect one another and help reduce the environmental impact of single-use face masks.
All proceeds from sales are donated to charity, 50% to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, and 50% divided between two charities working to support artists suffering financially from the pandemic. Based in the US, Artist Relief is an emergency coalition of national grant-makers who joined forces to give grants to artists facing dire financial need. In the UK, Common Practice is a partnership between UK-based not-for-profit spaces - providing direct support to emerging artists during and after COVID via ongoing commissions and initiatives.
Wedel Art Collective masks are sold by global luxury destination MATCHESFASHION on a not-for-profit basis. The Buy button is linking directly to MATCHESFASHION.
Identity, appropriated everyday objects, black identity and a conceptual approach have been at the heart of Johnson’s practice since the early 2000s, when the seminal Freestyle show at the Studio Museum, Harlem propelled his reputation internationally. His most recent Broken Men works, featuring fraught rectangular faces in vividly colored mosaic paintings, pinpoint his recurring interest in currents of anxiety and escapism created by the political and social turmoil felt across the United States and around the globe.
The Broken Men works are the basis for Johnson’s mask, further breaking off a segment of an already fragmented soul. “To me the broken men are a stand-in for the human condition,” says Johnson, “the existential yearning, philosophical questions, the fight to survive with dignity… things that are always present but highlighted in times of crisis.”
Johnson is among the most influential artists of his generation, having been in shows at such museums as Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; The Studio Museum in Harlem; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, as well as in the Venice Biennale. Johnson lives and works in New York.
Jenny Holzer’s large-scale text works have redefined public art since the 1980s, encouraging viewers to pause and contemplate powerful statements such as “PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT” and “ANY SURPLUS IS IMMORAL”. Whether presented as projections and billboards or on stone benches and LED signs, her texts highlight the urgency of today’s most pressing issues, as in It Is Guns, a mobile LED intervention that appeared on the streets of Miami and other American cities in the wake of the school shooting that killed 17 in Parkland, Florida. Through her use of language, Holzer complicates the power dynamics of public communication and creates space for other voices and ideas.
Holzer’s face mask taps into the necessity of mask-wearing during the coronavirus pandemic, reading “You – Me”. “I like to think of my work as useful,” Holzer has said. “That is a recurrent impulse, when something happens in the world, if I have an idea that can be properly responsive. ... Not necessarily a cure or a solution but at least an offering.”
In 1990 Holzer became the first woman to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale, and she has had solo shows at major museums around the world including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Tate Modern, London. Holzer has also realized numerous memorials and permanent public installations around the world. She lives and works in New York.
Since the late 1970s, Barbara Kruger has created eye-catching works that consider the indelible effects of social, political and economic structures upon everyday lived experience. Through piercing combinations of text and image, her wall-based works, paste-ups, videos, and public projects use simple and direct means to reveal complex systemic realities.
Kruger's face mask is made in her signature red, printed over with the words SIGN / LANGUAGE. The phrase evokes recurring themes in Kruger’s work: how our lives are shaped by speech and silence, signs and symbols. Its placement on a mask reflects the urgency of this critical moment and displays concerns about safety, danger and empathy.
Kruger’s work has been the subject of solo shows at major museums worldwide. She has been included in significant artworld events such as the Whitney Biennial, Documenta, and the Venice Biennale, where she was awarded The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2005. Kruger lives and works in New York and
Raymond Pettibon’s (b. 1957) influential oeuvre engages a wide spectrum of American iconography variously pulled from literature, art history, philosophy, religion, politics, sports, and alternative youth culture, among other sources. Intermixing image and text, his drawings engage the visual rhetoric of pop and commercial culture while incorporating language from mass media as well as classic texts by writers such as William Blake, Marcel Proust, John Ruskin, and Walt Whitman. Through his exploration of the visual and critical potential of drawing, Pettibon’s practice harkens back to the traditions of satire and social critique in the work of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artists and caricaturists such as William Hogarth, Gustave Doré, and Honoré Daumier, while reinforcing the importance of the medium within contemporary art and culture today.
Pettibon’s mask features Vavoom, a figure inspired by Felix the Cat that he has drawn since the mid-1980s. His voice, a superpower, holds the ability to reshape his environment, flattening forests and deflating mountains. Vavoom stands in sprawling, empty landscapes and shouts his name across the land - simultaneously a rallying cry and an existential shout into the void.
Pettibon’s work features in major museums internationally, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Pettibon lives and works in New York.
Born in Brooklyn, Lorna Simpson came to prominence in the late 1980s with her pioneering approach to conceptual photography. Simpson’s early work – particularly her striking juxtapositions of text and staged images – raised questions about the nature of representation, identity, gender, race and history that continue to drive the artist’s expanding and multi-disciplinary practice today. She deftly explores the medium’s umbilical relation to memory and history, both central themes within her work.
Simpson’s mask is based on a work she made in 2020 called Daydream. Describing the work, Simpson says, "Daydream 2020 is part of a series of monochromatic paintings titled Special Characters. The images in this series of paintings are created by layering several faces of women whose faces appear in Ebony magazine ads, culminating in surreal portraits.”
One of the key artistic voices of her generation, Simpson has had solo exhibitions at major museums worldwide including the Whitney Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Art Gallery of Ontario. Simpson lives and works in New York.
Blurring the boundaries between “feminine” craft and high art, Trockel first made her name showing paintings created with knitting machines, and has since worked with variety of media, including textiles, pottery, video and more. Consistently deep-diving into issues surrounding gender and identity, Trockel’s practice defies easy categorization; refusing to be pinned down and constantly experimenting.
Trockel’s mask comes in four different versions – each bearing the name portrait of different female role models who have featured in her work: political and philosophical theorist Hannah Arendt; singer, songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone; novelist and screenwriter Marguerite Duras and the legendary American abstract painter Agnes Martin. Their names sit above the mouth, legible only from a distance of 1.5 – 2 meters and inviting conversation.
Trockel has shown at major institutions worldwide including the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Serpentine Gallery, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Trockel lives and works in Cologne, Germany.
£140,00 for all 4
Purchase the group of six artist designed face masks together. The package includes only one Rosemarie Trockel mask: the N.Simone mask.
£200,00 for all 6
Wear a mask to protect yourself and others.
Public health experts – including from governments, the U.S. CDC and WHO – recommend wearing masks when appropriate to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and in many places it is mandatory. Sustainable, reusable and washable masks are recommended for non-clinical use.
Keep wearing a mask, physical distancing, washing your hands, staying away from big crowds and covering your mouth and nose every time you cough. Do it all!
Wedel Art Collective face masks are made out of ethically produced, 100% cotton and are triple layered. Like all quality non-medical masks, we wear them to protect each other and reduce the overall environmental impact of single use masks.
Each mask comes with its own pouch to protect it.
Both mask and pouch can be washed at 60 degrees Celsius, the temperature recommended by Britain’s NHS and other medical organisations for disinfecting fabrics. Hand-washing will keep the colours vibrant for longer. Masks should be ironed face down to avoid damage to the artist design.
Wedel Art Collective masks are not suitable for medical use. The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization is the beneficiary of 50% of the funds raised from the sale of these products. These products on this site have not been certified by the World Health Organization.
AMELIE V. WEDEL
Before setting up Wedel Art Advisory in 2006, Amelie von Wedel worked for various high-profile art institutions and galleries. As a curator, art consultant and gallerist, she organized the first UK exhibitions of Ai Weiwei, Sam Gilliam and Theaster Gates, and many critically acclaimed group exhibitions including Dansaekhwa and Impulse: American Abstract Art in the 70s, as well as performance art commissions. Amelie has lectured extensively around the world on contemporary art and co-edited a survey book on Chinese contemporary art published by Dumont. Furthermore, she develops meaningful cultural strategies for institutions and international corporations as well as advises on art strategies for property developments.
In 2009, Amelie co-founded Intelligence Squared Asia with Yana Peel and since 2011 is co-owner and co-chair of Intelligence Squared Group.
As director of art advisory firm Wedel Art, Pernilla advises clients on building meaningful art collections, devises cultural strategies for large corporations and international property developments, as well as spearheading curatorial projects. Working closely with artists, she has curated exhibitions and commissioned performances with both emerging and established artists at key points in their careers including Frank Bowling, Theaster Gates, Laurie Simmons, Ryan McNamara and Faith Ringgold. Pernilla has an MA from the Courtauld Institute and has written extensively on art in catalogues and for such publications as the Financial Times, Newsweek, World of Interiors and ARTnews. Speaking engagements have included lectures in universities, panel discussions and hosting a series of talks for Frieze Academy.
Emma Winter is a creative and strategic leader with extensive experience of fashion accessories in the luxury sector. She has been a creative collaborator to Marc Jacobs for over a decade supporting his vision most recently as Fashion Design Director on all product categories for his own brand and previously as Director of Leather goods design studio at Louis Vuitton. During this time she focused on sourcing new ideas and innovations for leather goods that were showcased worldwide in prolific catwalk and pre-collections. She also led some exciting fashion/art collaborations with Yayoi Kusama, Rei Kawakubo and Takashi Murakami amongst others. Emma spearheaded the start-up of the sunglass business for Louis Vuitton. While designing and developing their first seasonal collection, she introduced Pharrell Williams to the house. This collaboration resulted in the original ‘Millionaire’ sunglass.
Having lived and worked in both Paris and New York, she now lives in London and consults internationally for high-end fashion and sportswear brands.
Before joining Wedel Art in 2019 as Sales and Exhibitions Assistant, Jessica worked at New Contemporaries, the leading organisation supporting emergent art practice from UK art schools and alternative programmes. She has also held curatorial internships at Camden Arts Centre and Tate Modern and positions at The Annenberg Space for Photography and Coagula Curatorial back in her home city of Los Angeles. Jessica received her BA Art History from UCLA and MFA Curating from Goldsmiths, University of London during which time she independently curated a number of exhibitions featuring emerging artists.