Last week, my friend Yannick Hamon invited us to an event that was the place to be on that Thursday night in Portland.
Yannick, also known as Unik-art in the art industry, is a French artist specializing in Original Spray Bomb using various techniques with stencil, paint, graphics, acrylic and digital art form, he has sold and exposed his art in Europe and all over the US. He has been selected by Red Bull, along with 19 other artists from Portland, to decorate a cooler that will be displayed in a bar around Portland. The event was on Thursday, March 20th at the Portland Art Museum. The coolers were unveiled, and a panel of judges voted for two artists to participate in the Red Bull Curates Canvas Cooler Group Exhibition next December in Miami, FL.
Each artist was allowed to invite a few people to come in an hour before the event was open to the public. It was great to see all the coolers without a crowd. My husband and I were lucky to be on Yannick’s list and were happy to attend the event to support him. I will not lie, working in Public Relations and in the sports industry, I have always admired Red Bull’s work so I was excited to see what they organized this time.
The concept of the event was to have a panel of judges vote on coolers, and the public join the party to vote through social media, Instagram and twitter for their favorite artist. It explains, why, if you follow me on twitter, I was posting a lot about that event. We arrived a little before 7pm at the Mark Building of the Portland Art Museum, and were among the first people there. We entered a big room, at the bottom of the stairs, some art pieces from each artist were for sale, and all the coolers were displayed on high tables along the two sides of the room. Each cooler was full of Red Bull products and they also had plenty of cans for people to try in giant Red Bull ice coolers.
Getting there early gave us the opportunity to talk a little with Yannick and walk around to admire all the amazing work that artists produced. It was also nice to have space to get some pictures of the coolers, without people in the picture.
At 8pm, they opened the exhibition to the general public, and the room quickly became crowded. It was time for us to head home after an hour of voting through social media for Yannick and exploring the exhibit. When we stepped outside, the line was long and we realized that we probably attended the event of the week in Portland, we attended mainly to support our friend.
Results came in around 10pm, thanks to Instagram I was able to discover it live too. Unfortunately Yannick did not win but it was an amazing opportunity for his work to gain exposure, and I’m sure it will open more doors. The two winners of the night were Rather Severe and Winston the Whale. I won’t lie the coolers that won were some of my favorites from the event. I also realized that night that I had already seen their work in Portland previously.
Red Bull has once again created an amazing event, mixing the elegance of a museum with the offbeat side of the underground sports culture that Red Bull cherishes and is expressed through the artist’s work on the coolers.
To come: an interview of Yannick Hamon with more examples of his art work. He will have an exhibition at the White Space from April 3rd to April 29th with the opening reception on Thursday April 3rd from 6pm to 10pm.