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Curating Art for Aircraft

Works of art for private jets? Yes! We spoke to London-based design firm Artelier about clients, contractors and technical features.

As specialist art consultants for delivering aviation certified art, Artelier provides art consultancy & art commissioning services for private plane interiors. With 15 years’ expertise in the unique requirements for air-certified art, our curators work with prestigious private clients and contractors to elevate the calibre of aircraft interiors. Each bespoke artwork is specially developed to meet all aircraft requirements for weight, fire-safety and security fastenings, producing an onboard art collection that is technically sophisticated and effortlessly elegant.The audience for aircraft art are typically VVIP or specialist art collectors. Their lifestyles are highly international, and so the aircraft interior can become an extension of their home. While they may have interesting and high value art collections on land, the aircraft is an opportunity for special commissions. These vary enormously, depending on their personal taste – for example, we have created gold leaf ceiling concepts, light-weight sculptures, and custom wall panel paintings that sit flush against aircraft walls. The aircraft clients we work with often have a very specific vision, and it is our job to imagine how we can adapt their ideas to their aircraft and make it a reality.

Aircraft are a unique environment, and all artworks must be created specially. As well as being knowledgeable about how to meet aircraft standards, we work with aircraft contractors to ensure that all artworks are air-certified. A key consideration is flammability – all materials used to create a painting or work of art must be specialist ‘air-grade’, to conform to standards. Due to turbulence and other safety precautions, the fixings of art to walls or other surfaces are also developed bespoke by our team’s associates, as these fixings are much more technical than fixings on land. The other key consideration is weight. Every element of an aircraft is carefully considered for weight, so artworks and their presentation must be weighed for every gram; some mediums are therefore not possible, such as stone or bronze. In practice, all of these safety and technical considerations mean that we as aircraft art consultants have to come up with alternative materials to achieve the same ‘look’ for the client, often with innovative techniques and new materials. We work closely with artists to ensure that the finished artwork is of the same quality, but adheres to technical needs.