Daniel Arsham joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as creative director.
Portrait of Daniel Arsham. Photo by James Law.
Daniel Arsham has joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as creative director and minority partner in a landmark deal bridging the worlds of contemporary art and professional sports. Arsham’s position, believed to be the first of its kind, will focus on developing a visual identity across all aspects of the organization.
Arsham, who was born in Cleveland in 1980, is best known for his practice that combines sculpture, installation, and architectural experimentation into works that explore both materiality and spatial manipulation. Last year, he unveiled the site-specific installation Moving Basketball (2019) at the Cavaliers stadium, Rocket Mortgage Field House. Arsham commented on his new position in a statement:
Basketball, as a global phenomenon, is a reoccurring [sic] theme in my work and I am a longtime Cavs fan. [...] My family’s Cleveland roots go back to 1908 when my great grandfather moved to The Land. My grandfather, father, and I were all born in Cleveland. Cleveland is an iconic American city, and the people of Cleveland have immense pride in their hometown. To join the Cavaliers as creative director, and to have the opportunity to help shape and lead the team’s visual identity as we look ahead to the future, is an unbelievable honor that I cannot wait to share with the full community of Cavs fans and partners here and around the world.
According to Artsy data, inquiries for works by Arsham on the platform have been trending upward since 2016. Interest in the artist’s work skyrocketed between 2018 and 2019, with inquiries increasing by nearly 175 percent. Though less dramatic, the uptick in interest is on pace to continue this year.