Kipton Conquers All Media, One Web Entry at a Time - Monday, 10/5/2009 1:37 PM
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Kipton Cronkite has carved more than a niche for himself over the past several years. In 2002, he founded KiptonART, a private establishment dedicated to promoting up-and-coming artists to the ultimate tastemakers and influencers in art, entertainment, society, and business. These past few years have seen both Kipton and his organization cut a swathe through virtually all mediums, promoting not only artists but also musicians, filmmakers, and fashion designers.
Hollywood actors, international socialites, and cultural dignitaries flock to Kipton's coveted showings, that are held either at private residences or in conjunction with uber-luxury brands, such as Asprey, Van Cleef and Arpels, and LVMH. It should be noted that, in the midst of all of these accomplishments, Mr. Cronkite also had a day job as Director and Head of Investor Relations for Bank of America's Alternative Investment Advisors division. Whew! I guess this is what they like to call a Renaissance Man.
Unfortunately, like tens of thousands of other people, Cronkite ultimately became a casualty of the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Merger of '08 and he parted ways with the company this past June. But, as part of his consistent quest to make lemonade out of lemons, Kipton used this set-back as an opportunity to focus on KiptonART full time and to set up a non-profit entity called KiptonART Foundation, whose purpose it is to fund artist-in-residency programs and educational programs for children. He has also aggressively expanded the scope of his website, KiptonART.com (founded in 2005), to include insider reports and reviews not only on art, but also on film, music, and fashion.
But let me give Kipton a chance to tell the rest of the story...
MB: So I see that KiptonART.com coverage is divided into 4 sections: Art, film, music, and style. When did your site begin to branch out beyond art?
KC: KiptonART was founded in 2002 and the website launched in June 2005. After multiple site upgrades between 2005-2008, in July 2008 KiptonART launched the online magazine and the new version of the site to give artists more choices to display their work online. For style, the initial coverage was September 2008 after the Herve Leger show. KiptonART continued with periodic coverage and. in the fall of this year. reviewed over 10 fashion shows for New York Spring 2010 Fashion Week. For film, KiptonART began coverage in August 2008 when KiptonART gave an NYU Tisch student access to share details about his student thesis project. Our latest coverage was a detailed review of “The September Issue”. For music, the website began coverage in July 2008 after the launch of the KiptonART Music Series. Since the launch of our music division, we have held events for pianist Lang Lang, violinist Joshua Bell, soprano Joyce DiDonato, cellist Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir and jazz pianist Eldar. For art, KiptonART's first coverage was in August 2008. Now we have over 44 articles to date on everything from exhibition reviews to gallery and specific artist interviews. We also have a commerce section that covers highlights from upcoming art auctions, as well as business, in the art world.
MB: You mentioned that your inspiration to cover fashion was that you consider it to be an art form, which, of course, it very well can be. Does that vantage point influence your coverage of fashion shows and fashion-related events? Meaning, do you approach them differently from the way a traditional fashion outlet would?
KC: KiptonART believes that fashion shows are venues for art forms, much like going to an art exhibition to view photography or paintings. Our coverage focuses less on current trends or what the ideal outfit for next season would be. Instead, KiptonART looks at the form, style, design and how the designer encompasses all aspects of the collection to express him/herself, similar to a true artist. KiptonART aims to focus its coverage on the unique individualities and provide an objective voice (like we do for our painters, photographers and musicians).
MB: Was/were there any fashion show(s) that, in your opinion, lived up to that promise?
KC: I would say Chado Ralph Rucci's presentation lived up to this promise. Mr.Rucci himself, responded with gratitude and appreciation for our coverage on his masterpiece collection.
MB: Are you going to continue with the film and music reviews this season? I would love to see your take on the awards hype. Will you be weighing in on your film favorites come Oscar season?
KC: We had not planned to cover the Oscars but it is something I watch every year. Perhaps we will cover it and discuss our film favorites. Stay tuned!
MB: Any future projects coming up that you are particularly excited about? What are your goals this year for both KiptonART and the KiptonART site?
KC: Our next project is an exhibition opportunity for finalists for our KiptonART Rising program to show their work and meet potential collectors and gallery owners who might want to represent them. We¹ll have an exhibition of artwork and a musical performance by Orbas Squara. This event will continue to raise awareness for our non-profit arm to KiptonART, the KiptonART Foundation formed in May 2009. During the evening of November 2nd at Saks Fifth Avenue, we'll also announce KiptonART Rising 2010 winners. Each winner will receive additional recognition and promotion for the next 12 months both online and through exhibition opportunities through our for-profit entity, KiptonART. Our last event on September 8th, "Night of Sound and Style", was the first for our non-profit and promoted the 22-year-old jazz pianist, Eldar. The event was made possible by “Elle” magazine and Longchamp to benefit the KiptonART Foundation.
Kipton Cronkite and Olivia Palermo
Whitney Port and Roxy Olin
Eldar, Kipton Cronkite and Olivier Cassegrain
Minnie Mortimer and Stephen Gaghan