Bringing Art To The Corporate World
By: Ines Min
We’re taught at a young age not to use our hands to paint, but brushes, and to shade within the lines with color pencils. For Brian Olsen, a one-man show of music and art, that’s exactly what he does — for major corporations.
Olsen brought his explosive 6-brush, hands, knees and elbow-painting style to Korea for the first time last week in Olympic Park, at the launch of Audi’s new V8 car.
At this point, many people would say: “Huh?”
Olsen, the world’s only apprentice to the ’80s name Denny Dent, specializes in a specific genre of artwork that doesn’t quite fit between the clean lines of traditional painting, performance art and speed painting.
Working with a recurring portfolio of iconic figures — his “repertoire” — the spiky-haired 37-year-old (will update Sunday) recreates the likeness of everyone from James Dean to Mohammed Ali.
Donning paint-splattered black clothing, he works on a black canvas to the beat of a rock song — furiously leaping, splashing and sliding his extremities across his medium. (While Dent’s show was the “Two-Fisted Art Attack,” Olsen goes for the alliterative “Art in Action.”)
The unique practice has evolved since the time of Olsen’s tutor, and the protege now performs predominantly for major companies.
Combining entertainment with inspirational tidbits between shows, the artist has moved from pop icons to buildings, logos and now cars.
He continues to develop his style with new levels of dimension; his newest show involves simultaneous portraits of The Beatles, painted on a rotating cube.
“In between the paintings I’ll address the audience directly and I’ll talk about my creative process, how I create artwork, and how that process can apply to someone else’s work,” Olsen told The Korea Times ahead of his Audi performance Tuesday, at the Park Hyatt Seoul.
“Whether they’re in sales, or in product development, the creative process is universal in how you approach things. And it ties into ‘How do you overcome obstacles,’ ‘How do you overcome problems,’ or ‘How do you recognize the tools that you have to work with?’
“The show is kind of motivational in that sense that I’m able to take my audience on a journey.”
A connection with his audience is what the artist seeks most, while accessibility is his best method — an important aspect considering Olsen performs 40 to 50 shows a year across the globe.
“What I do isn’t necessarily language-based, so I can create the same experience in any country that I go to,” he said.
“And it’s the excitement of art and music, in action, and kind of dance, and all these different art forms that sort of ball together into my show.”
While Olsen’s performances almost always finish without a hitch, there have been the occasional goofs such as stage lights blacking out or a CD player malfunction. Now he travels with two CD players and two CDs.
“Each show, each time I get on stage it’s an experience. Anything can happen, and that’s kind of one of the exciting (things),” said the artist-performer.
“It’s not like you hit the play button and it’s already been recorded and you can go through your track or something. It’s a moment in time.”
Reaching that stage took practice, as landscape architecture-trained Olsen worked closely with Dent to become an ambidextrous painter, create the right proportions at such a close angle, and time himself. While Dent helped his student construct his own show, an untimely death left Olsen without a mentor.
He picked himself up, however, and threw himself into the trade, learning to promote himself, create a brand and image. But through his success, it is still that desire to spread the reach of art that fuels him.
“I can go into the studio and create artwork, and sell it to a gallery, and you can go and look at it on a wall. But I think the process of creating is what’s really exciting,” he said.
“It’s not just this high-end gallery-like artwork. It’s real, it’s kind of in your face, and it happens quickly, in about eight minutes — so it fits into people’s attention spans.
“I’m able to grasp a huge population of people that aren’t interested in art because maybe they’re intimidated by it… there’s no secret. You watch it happen.”
And for all his flair on stage, Olsen isn’t just seeking the spotlight.
“Sometimes I let people in my studio, but I guess there’s still some part of me that’s this reclusive artist, and I don’t really like people to come in until it’s done,” he said with a smile.
Audience Engagement: Brillux
Brian traveled to Germany to entertain the enthusiastic folks at Brillux- a leading paint company. Using Brillux paints, Brian painted portraits of Bob Marley, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson for the 4,000 guests there there to celebrate the companies 125thyear in business. Following his performance, Brian and his translator, internationally renowned German singer and entertainer Helene Fischer engaged and entertained the crowd as Brian fielded questions from the audience. Brian’s witty and insightful responses kept the conversation amongst the participants ongoing for hours.
Unique & Memorable Entertainment
Planners are always searching for ways to make that special day unique. Most recently a father of a bride-to-be, who Brian had wowed at a New Year’s Eve event at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, invited Brian to Toronto to perform and his daughter’s wedding. As guests filtered out of the ceremony they were left speechless as Brian, with six brushes in each hand, accompanied by a local DJ, painted a 6 x 4.5 foot portrait of the bride and groom in Brian Olsen style! What a way to make a wedding memorable.
Corporate Branding: Pepsi
Our friends at Pepsi recently threw a memorable event in NYC, and Brian was there to kick off the general session with an awe-inspiring logo reveal. The company’s corporate colors, limited to red, white and blue, proved to be no match for Brian’s creative approach. The audience was familiar with Brian’s stunning portraits and expected to see just that, but when the splattering of paint accompanied by just the right mix of music came to end, the crowd was astonished at the site of the familiar Pepsi logo—it left them cheering for more!
Rocky Mountain PBS Video Interview with Brian Olsen
Olsen bids, So long, Farewell to Jay Leno of the Tonite Show/NBC
So Long, Farewell, Jay Leno from the Tonight Show! 22 years and 160,000 jokes! Wow! As Billy Crystal put it on your final night,” You were America’s night light, you helped us through good times and bad, our country would stay up for your monologues and to hear the news in your perspective.” This painting is devoted to your hard work and entertainment.
Olsen Creates Tribute To Denver Broncos At “Flight To Luxury” Event
Art, music,fashion, jets, sports cars, and luxury Cuvée villas came together on Friday, September 20th, 2013 to benefit Denver’s Youth. The Fourth Annual Flight to Luxury event, presented by Cuvée Ventures, raised proceeds for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, an organization that provides a safe, enriching place for more than 2,000 youth to go to every day after school and during the summer.
The event’s primary objective was to unite the Denver Community in support of a life-changing mission: To allow Denver’s youth the opportunity to succeed.
Cuvée’s Director of Marketing, Laura Cisco, who was instrumental in the planning of the annual event was looking for entertainment that would add to the impact of the event and ensure guests had something new to talk about, so she hired local celebrity Brian Olsen Art In Action. Olsen warmed up with a fashionable performance painting of Marilyn Monroe followed by a one of a kind custom piece of the Denver Broncos Logo which was signed live both by Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations, John Elway, and wide receiver Wes Welker and immediately auctioned for over tens of thousands of dollars during the event.
Over 1,000 attendees experienced the 2013 Hanger party created by Larry Mueller, the Managing Partner of Cuvée Ventures. “So many of us go to the typical charity events where you sit around a round table and we really wanted to do something that was the antithesis of that.”
The Signature Flight Support private jet hangar at Centennial Airport housed the red-carpet event showcasing the most elite elements of spectacular travel: Cuvée’s custom-couture villas in the world’s most stunning destinations, first-class private jets by Jet Linx, and luxury sports cars by Ferrari of Denver and Sill-TerHar Motors. Also featured was a couture fashion show from local Denver boutiques, delectable cuisine and drinks from the Mile High City’s top eateries and hip hop violinist, Maestro Hughes.
Cuvée found a way to wow their guests utilizing Brian Olsen while uniting the local community to raise funds for an important cause. Find the right way to energize your next meeting or event by maximizing Brian Olsen’s fine artistry and performance.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 720.570.2303
September 7th, 2013 Olsen Performs at “The Art of Hope Gala”
ABOUT THE ART OF HOPE GALA
A premier event, The ART of HOPE Gala is CSC’s signature fundraiser. This year’s gala theme is inspired by the Art for Recovery therapy sessions offered at CSC, a powerful therapy for cancer patients coping with stress and anxiety. Chairing the event is Donna Heckler, and Carolyn Gollub is the Event Advisory Chair.
The event will take place Saturday, September 7, 2013 at The Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis, MO. The evening commences at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, silent and wine auctions. Dinner, live auction, award ceremony and entertainment by Brian Olsen’s “Art in Action” follow at 7:30 p.m.
All funds raised from The ART of HOPE remain in the greater St. Louis area for the benefit of people in our community living with cancer.
For reservations and information contact Peggy Plont, Special Events Manager, at Cancer Support Community, 314-238-2000, ext 230.
To book Brian Olsen “Art In Action” for your fundraiser, call: 720.570.2303, or e-mail us at email@example.com
ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT COMMUNITY OF GREATER ST. LOUIS
Cancer Support Community of Greater St. Louis is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. All programs are completely free of charge and offered in a comfortable, home-like environment. Cancer Support Community offers professionally-led support groups, educational workshops, nutrition and exercise programs, and stress-reduction classes to empower and educate individuals affected by cancer. For more information, visit www.cancersupportstl.org.
Saturday, August 24, 2013 Olsen Performs At 17th Annual Ellis Fischel Gala
Saturday, August 24, 2013, Lake of the Ozarks, MO
The Lodge of Four Seasons will host the 17th Annual Ellis Fischel Gala.
The evening includes performances by artist Brian Olsen- Art In Action,
modern Jazz Artist Denise Thimes with the Joe Cartwright Quartet, and the
Jeremiah Allen & Friends band featuring saxophonist Tim Cunningham.
The 2013 Ellis Fischel Gala will benefit clinical trials at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center
as well as the Ellis Fischel Gala and the Brown Family Healing Garden.
The newly created Healing Garden provides a comforting green space for
patients and families.
For further information, including sponsorship opportunities please call
(573) 884-1190 or (866) 260-4517.
To book Brian Olsen directly call 720.570.2303 , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org