“You have to think about the medium of work…is it sculpture? is it canvas? is it photography? you have to think about how the message of the artist is being conveyed to the audience without losing the artist’s vision.”
The relationship between artist and brand is a peculiar one, a selective pairing that seeks both chemistry and depth. When the union is right, both parties explore, together, their fullest potential as one. When it comes to marrying the two, design consultant and art curator Jae Joseph is mindful of the match. Founder of a design consultancy based in New York City, Joseph is a seasoned visionary. With a background in fashion marketing and modeling, Joseph channels his aesthetic inclinations into what he calls “integrated hybrid arts”. With an attraction to the unconventional, he seeks challenge in the project at hand.
I sat down with Joseph recently in his Lower East Side office to talk about his role and the process behind it. “The focus became more on the art world and the curating niche markets, niche events and pairing the artist with the brands,” he tells me. “You have to think about the audience and think about what they would be receptive to and how to relay the message across.” Throughout his eight years as an art curator and design consultant, Joseph has worked with companies like Vidal Sassoon, Catherine Melandrino, Issey Miyake, Rodarte, Nike, and Target to do just this.
While his role may be glamorous, it is nonetheless a complex one requiring both discipline and creativity to stay sharp and work with finesse. Whether brand or artist comes first, Joseph seems to stay focused on the end goal while indulging in the creative unfolding. “It’s been a journey of passion, from one love to the next,” he shares. Each project, each love, is a different journey from the last. No matter the medium, scale, or location, Joseph finds his heart in the process from getting to know the artist to understanding the brand’s inner workings.
During his time at Columbia University, Joseph studied abroad in Florence, Italy, where his affinity for the arts was born. “I wasn’t really privy to the art world until I studied in Florence and studied art history and knowing the different mediums in art and knowing the different periods,” he says. “Art was such a big column in terms of how time periods were looked at.” He internalized this newfound understanding, recognizing it as a personal purpose. From California to Miami and New York, his projects have found him everywhere from booths at Art Basel to curating dinners alongside Marina Abramovic Institute.
During our talk, Jae shared just how much work he puts into the process. “A tremendous amount of dedication goes into curating a successful exhibition,” he said. “Every facet has to be covered: budget and proposals, sourcing works, generating consignment agreements, layout and installation. It is not a relaxing process but the final product is a rewarding experience when an artist’s vision is implemented effectively. This idea of cultivating community is very important to me as it allows my existing artist network to grow and potentially work together through collaborations, licensing, and partnerships.”
It is in this final product that Joseph’s efforts are made more than clear. Working to keep the artist’s vision always at the heart of his labor, his efforts exist for passion’s sake. A true aesthete, Jae Joseph brings an effortless sense of class and signature style to each pursuit.
PHOTOS BY Faisal Mohammed | STYLED BY Mercedes PSL Bass
Topman shirt, shorts and trousers all in polyester and wool blazer. ADIEV Paris Loafers