“art for the real world”


["Portfolio Number One", hanging in a collector's office in Germany.]

I’ve been playing around with this line  a lot recently: “Art For The Real World”.

I’m interested in how art affects what some people call “The Real World”- the workplace, the world of work, the world of business. That’s what the Cube Grenade idea is all about.

My advertising buddy, Vinny Warren, grew up in a Roman Catholic household in Ireland. He was telling me that his parents would always have a few religious icons hanging on the wall somewhere. Pictures of Saints, Mary & Baby Jesus, that kind of thing.

Why? Says Vinny, “To remind us who we were.”

Art that reminds you who you are. Exactly. What applies in Catholic households also applies in places of business. Shared Meaning. Exactly. Social Objects. Exactly.

I don’t think any of this is rocket science…

[Update:] John leaves a good comment below:

I think surroun­ding our­sel­ves with icons, art, books and such to remind our­sel­ves of who we are, where we have been and where we hope to go is essen­tial to kee­ping our hearts alive. It is too easy to lose our way. My office is full of these things.

[Backs­tory: About Hugh. E-mail Hugh. Work with Hugh. Twit­ter. Cartoon Archive. News­let­ter. Book. Inter­view One. Inter­view Two. EVIL PLANS. Limi­ted Edi­tion Prints. Essen­tial Rea­ding:Everything You Always Wan­ted To Know About ‘Cube Gre­na­des’ But Were Afraid To Ask.”]

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark