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3 Ways to Introduce Art to Yacht Design in 2023

As yacht art consultants, Artelier specialises in curating art for luxury yacht, residential, hospitality, and aviation projects. As well as sourcing contemporary art by leading global artists, we also collaborate with artists to create custom art commissions tailored to the yacht interior. In the highly competitive yachting industry, intelligently curated art can make a yacht interior stand out significantly, leading Artelier to continuously look for new and exciting ways to incorporate art in yachts.

As the epitome of a luxury lifestyle, yachts should inspire amazement from the moment one steps onboard. Exquisitely presented interiors achieve this by showcasing a contemporary design scheme throughout the yacht, creating an immersive aesthetic experience. The sophisticated yacht owner or charter guest expects all elements of the design to work seamlessly together, from furniture to decoration. This has led to a rise in popularity for custom-made artworks, which are fully integrated into the design.

A bespoke sculptural panel inspired by ocean waves, carved from wood and hand-gilded with white gold leaf

Entire art collections that are customised for the yacht are appealing for many reasons. One-of-a-kind decoration captures the essence of luxury, as the pieces have been created exclusively for the project. Bespoke artworks can also intelligently enhance the subtle aspects of the design scheme – by picking up on metallic finishes, colour palettes, or design themes – which raises the high-end feel of the whole yacht. The artworks can also speak to the context of being at sea, relating for example to the surrounding water and natural elements, and so enhance the yachting experience.

There are also many practical benefits to commissioning art specially for the yacht. Many yacht owners are mindful that they may want to charter or sell their yacht at a later stage, and so the artworks need to appeal to the tastes of a wide international audience, as well as being elegant and impressive. In addition, displaying highly collectable modern art onboard can be complicated, since the artworks would be at a higher risk of damage and be moving through international borders. Many yacht owners therefore prefer to display their personal fine art collection on land, and instead purchase artworks along with the yacht.

With extensive experience in providing original contemporary art across varied luxury sectors, Artelier has a deep understanding for the aesthetic demands of discerning yacht owners. As art consultants, we specialise in sourcing and commissioning art for superyachts, having over 15 years’ experience delivering art on high-profile projects. With this industry insight, Artelier has developed innovations for art onboard superyachts, in order to curate refined and one-of-a-kind spaces. In this article, Artelier’s curators discuss the latest innovations for art on yachts.

A custom-made wall installation of porcelain flowers & two abstract stainless steel sculptures complete the yacht spa

1. Pools & Spas

A spa is one of the most luxurious spaces onboard a yacht; going to the spa ought to transport the visitor far from their everyday life, to a place of tranquillity and rejuvenation. The current trend for onboard wellness features, such as pools and saunas, has encouraged yacht designers to seek ways to create an opulent atmosphere, which feels distinct from the rest of the yacht.

Customised artworks for spas create an immersive aesthetic experience like no other, and so are an integral element of yacht spa design. Commissioning new artworks allows them to be specially tailored to complement the design scheme, as well as be adapted to the unique humid environment of the spa.

As art consultants, it is essential to consider how the yacht owner will use the space and so identify key locations for artworks. The jacuzzi area is especially relaxing, and using a jacuzzi offers an opportunity to appreciate nearby artworks. For a recent yacht spa project, Artelier commissioned a pair of contemporary stainless steel sculptures, and a porcelain wall art installation to hang above the jacuzzi. Artelier collaborated with a leading ceramic artist to create the wall art installation, made up of intricate patterns of hand-sculpted ceramic flowers. Each flower was fixed onto a board in concentric circles, giving the impression of ripples on a pool of water. Within the space, the harmonious symmetry of the circles evoked a Zen-like simplicity. Since the porcelain artwork would hang directly beside the jacuzzi, it also had to be resilient. Together with the artist, Artelier developed a humid-resistant coating was specially applied to the porcelain to ensure the artwork's longevity.

Another recently completed yacht art commission was a custom sculptural panel in the yacht's sauna. The artwork needed to resist the extreme heated environment, and be safe for the users of the sauna – we therefore recommended using carved wood. After carefully consulting the design scheme of the sauna, we selected a wood type that complemented the neutral tones of the other wooden elements of the sauna. The abstract design carved into the panels, on the other hand, subtly contrasted with the parallel lines of the sauna's wooden planks.

5m wall mural of Mt. Fuji in the Owner's Suite, created entirely from hand applied gold leaf

2. Feature Walls

Feature walls have become a mainstay of luxury interior design, for their ability to create high impact and atmosphere. However, sophisticated clients seek wall finishes that go beyond the familiar idea of the feature wall, and stretch the possibilities of bespoke elements in interiors. Addressing this, Artelier saw an opportunity for original art to be developed as site-specific feature walls for exclusive interiors projects. As a result, Artelier developed the Artist Walls collection, which reinvents the concept of the feature wall – Artist Walls are large-scale artworks that are not only striking wall finishes, but customised collectors' pieces made by leading artists.

Created specially for a project, each contemporary mural artwork is tailored to the aesthetic and practical needs of its context. As an investment of time and artistic focus, the finished Artist Wall provides interiors with a truly one-of-a-kind feature that creates a memorable atmosphere on yachts.

A standout art commission that Artelier delivered for an Amels superyacht was a bespoke 6m gold leaf feature wall, which took pride of place in the Owner's Suite. The mural, inspired by views of Mt Fuji, was created from hand-applied gold leaf. The artist used a selection of different toned golds to create an atmospheric artwork that shimmered in the light-filled space, enhancing gold’s naturally ethereal shine.

The use of gold on this large-scale artwork creates an immersive experience – the effect is transcendental, as the experience of being surrounded by glittering gold feels otherworldly. Since light naturally changes throughout the day and the seasons, the artwork is illuminated differently with time, and so the feature wall is in a state of continual transformation.

A custom made artwork which slides across a TV screen in the Main Salon

3. TV Rollers

Incorporating art in contexts which are functional as well as decorative has a special appeal for yacht owners. This has led Artelier to develop a solution for a specific context – commissioning artworks that discretely conceal blank television screens. TV roller artworks, which roll or slide across television screens, are an attractive concept in yacht interiors; artworks can be displayed within an existing element of the design, and enhance a normally mundane feature.

While the use of TV rollers aboard yachts has been a growing trend, Artelier has pioneered featuring collectable contemporary artists in this context, and demonstrated the benefits of commissioning new artworks to give a truly personalised element to yacht interiors. This level of customisation pushes the artistic boundaries for TV rollers, introducing a range of materials that go beyond those more commonly used for rollers. Rather than being limited to simply printed works, Artelier can source hand-painted, gilded, collage, screen-printed and mixed media pieces that are adapted for use on TV rollers.

Understanding a client's desire for art that suits their own personal interests and tastes, Artelier has developed a wide portfolio of international contemporary artists working across a range of styles and media. When creating TV rollers with artists, it is important to also carefully consider the overall interior design scheme, and so we suggest artworks that are in keeping with the colour palette of the space or follow the yacht’s design theme.

Each TV roller artwork is created especially for the client, and is a collectable artwork in its own right. A key benefit of commissioning these unique pieces is that their roller mechanisms have been specifically designed to make artworks removable. The artworks can therefore be re-stretched for use in a more conventional context if the yacht owner moves on from the yacht. The artworks are therefore created with longevity in mind, so that the yacht owner can enjoy their personalised artwork for years to come.

A pair of aqua-coloured abstract ink paintings, bringing the ocean to every corner of the Master Suite

The Future of Art on Yachts

The drive for sustainability in the yacht industry has grown tremendously in the last few years, with individuals, designers and yacht yards alike becoming committed to sustainable values. What once was more of a fashionable trend has become a major movement, and increasingly the industry is seeking to promote eco-conscious practices. Art can be an effective way of visually communicating a project’s focus on sustainability – by supporting artists whose work has a low impact on the environment, artworks can bring responsible luxury to the yacht.

Artelier as a result has seen increasing numbers of clients request artworks that are produced sustainably. There has been a surge of popularity for art made of natural materials; this includes paintings that use organic pigments, sculptural works made from paper, and carved wood sculptures created from sustainably sourced wood. As well as being environmentally friendly, these artworks relate deeply to being at sea – the essence of yachting is being in tune with nature, and appreciating the fragile beauty of our natural surroundings. With yacht design continuously innovating to become more efficient and eco-conscious, commissioning sustainable artworks provides a solution for creating stunning interiors while promoting environmental values.

Sustainable paintings for the Beach Club, complete with custom made sustainable oak frames with natural dyes

To learn more about Artelier's art consultancy services, and our process for commissioning art more broadly, please visit our Art Consultancy homepage. Further examples of our yacht art projects can be found on our dedicated page for Yacht art.

Explore yacht interior art case studies: M/Y Plvs Vltra (74m), M/Y Go (77m), M/Y Sea & Us (62m), and M/Y Aurora Borealis (68m).


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