Despite being born in Montreal, artist Cendrillon Bélanger considers herself more of a Parisian than a Canadian. The “City of Light” has been her home for 30 years, as well as the blank canvas on which she has mapped out a far-reaching professional and artistic path. She studied art at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and Art History at the Université Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne.
Over the course of the last two decades, she has been given the opportunity to work with leading luxury brands, and she has also lectured, and continues to do so, at centres such as the École Internationale du Marketing de Luxe in Paris and TBS Business School. That being said, she regards herself as an artist. “I primarily work with video, sound and installations,” she explained in an interview for TBS in Barcelona.
The TBS campus in Barcelona has welcomed Bélanger from 27–31 January, where she has been teaching an elective course as part of the Master in Marketing Management & Communication program that is run at the school's French campus. The program, titled Brand Universe: Art and Luxury through art collaborations and brand content, aims to explore “what happens when the founder of a luxury brand dies and a creative director becomes the new force behind the brand.” Over time, the artist has become aware that “artistic universes and those of luxury brands can be compared.” For Bélanger, creative directors are artists with “their own universe and style.” This course acts as a demonstration of the results that are generated when both worlds are fused.
A selection of the works and collaborations of Cendrillon Bélanger.
Hedi Slimane is one example of this intriguing collage. “He began as a photographer (which he still is to this day) and also worked as a creative director for luxury brands such as Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. He recently joined Celine and, despite being different universes, his personality can still be felt in his creations and the brand’s content,” Cendrillon explained. In the same way, Chanel represents a blend of different techniques and artistic imaginaries. “The Chanel universe is a reflection of the vision of Gabrielle Chanel, the passion she felt and the House of Chanel’s signature craftsmanship,” continued Bélanger.
In her first year in Barcelona, Cendrillon Bélanger has also planned to visit the exhibition Dressing the Body. Silhouettes and Fashion (1550–2015) at the Museu del Disseny in Barcelona. All this, without overlooking the images, films, references and documents that beautifully describe the artistic aspect of luxury brands. “Here, the brand content only relates to luxury brands as the objective is to 'share' their universe; not to sell. It’s the antithesis of marketing,” said Bélanger. And for her, “if an artist starts creating without daring to take risks, if they aim to produce what people expect, it is no longer art.”