Much of the art that we know was developed in the context of a collective, group, or school. From the Florentine school through to Fluxus and most recently the YBAs, a particular style, discipline or approach – theoretical or practical – lends itself to a wider grouping of artists into a tightly-defined entity: a brand.
Now, of course, everyone is part of one collective or another. We appear in someone's Twitter list. or belong to a multitude of Facebook groups. The potential to create branded collectives with pre-determined groups of people is therefore a logical extension, and we are clearly seeing that happen in the B2C marketplace, particularly in Facebook.
Branded collectives were at the front of the minds of Kate and Rob Burton when they created Kiki Salon. The brand was created as a collective entity – an umbrella brand for a group of diverse and creative people who were identified and brought in by the couple, with the brand becoming the over-arching entity. Members included photographer Yiannis Katsaris and performance artist Stav B (pictured above). The brand was responsible for a line of products and exhibition, under the name Kiki Salon Presents.
The ability to create diverse and creative communities led by one or two figureheads is not uncommon: in addition to Asher and pop culture-influenced models such as the Factory and the Mothers of Invention, many creative agencies have a small team of "directors" and work with creative freelancers in a network model. Kiki Salon offers the natural evolution, which is to continue the collective model, but reinforce it through digital and, in particular, social media.