BAAB [Business is Art/Art is Business]


Because it mounts up the outside of north wall of the Art Condos building, right beside the building’s loading dock, it may not be much noticed by Art Condos owners or their neighbours. But the fact is, the BAAB mural–made up of black letters affixed to the building–is as subtle a piece of public art as can be found anywhere in the city.

We refer to it as the BAAB mural because BAAB is the logo-like form of the phrase “Business is Art / Art is Business,” a reversible equation dear to the heart of Art Condos developer and artist, Gary Silverberg.

For some years now, the phrase has been a Silverberg watch-cry—a compression of his credo
that business and art ought to be working together, so that business can benefit from and be enriched by the visionary freshness and inventiveness of art, and, contrariwise, art can proceed from the understanding and support of the powerful business community. A creative two-way street.

Designed by Gary Silverberg and Art Condos architect, David Oleson, the mural is made up of hundreds of small representations of the word, “business,” that swarm up the building in such a way that three large negative spaces are formed—spaces that, spell out, in the ABSENCE of the word “business,” the word “ART.”

Here then, “business” literally forms “art.” While, by the same token, “art” can only exist if “business” makes way for it.