Deutsch and Water Is Life Stage ‘Art Heist for Good’

By Erik Oster 

Deutsch launched worked with Water Is Life for the humanitarian organization’s unusual “Art Heist for Good” campaign, “a mission to take from the poor to give to the poor.”

In a program which took two years of planning, Water Is Life and Deutsch “stole” rooftop art by French artist JR which in Kiberia, replacing the art with new corrugated metal roofs and then sold the art. Proceeds from sales are being used for a variety of initiatives, including a 5,000 gallon per day water filter, a community hand washing station, hygiene education and repairing water distribution points. It’s an unorthodox, and perhaps controversial approach, with the questionable tactics used for unquestionably positive measures in the community. Deutsch’s attention-grabbing video for the campaign plays up the more controversial elements as a means of raising awareness for the organization and perhaps attracting interested art buyers.

“Those with the banners did not know the value,” Water Is Life president Kristine Bender told Adweek. “Many had been ripped up, and even stolen to put on the floor of someone else’s home.”

“We wanted to do something bold and brave, generating direct impact for the community,”added Deutsch executive creative director Menno Kluin



Client: Water Is Life
Kristine Bender, President
Project: “The Art Heist for Good”
Agency: Deutsch, New York
Chief Creative Officer: Kerry Keenan
Executive Creative Director: Menno Kluin
Creative Directors: Sam Shepherd, Frank Cartagena, Julia Neumann
Art Directors: Brittany Rivera, Katrina Mustakas
Copywriter: Kevin Meagher
Director of Photography: Neil DaCosta
Design Director: Juan Carlos Pagan
Designer: Brian Gartside
Director of Integrated Production: Joe Calabrese
Producer: Joe Pernice
Post Producer: Francess Tom-Sahr
Editor: Pete Slife
Directors: Sam Shepherd, Frank Cartagena, Menno Kluin
Music: Found Objects
Record/Mix: Duotone