Amyris x Art Basel: A Conversation with Francisco Costa

November 29, 2021

This year, several of the Amyris clean consumer brands will join the community of artists and designers in Miami for Art Basel 2021. To kick off the week, Amyris sat down with Francisco Costa, founder of Costa Brazil and Chief Creative Officer of Amyris to discuss the significance of the fair and what he’s looking forward to sharing with the Art Basel community this year on behalf of Amyris. Read on for more insights into Amyris’ first debut at Art Basel.


  1. For those who might not be familiar with Art Basel, what is the genesis of the event and why is it such an important cultural event for the art and design community?
    Basel, just like art, is about bringing people together and serving as an instigator of culture, in the best way possible. The first two days of the fair, you can expect to see the biggest collectors and galleries showing the latest trends and only their best work through private viewings. The fair is then open to the public, and it brings a jolt of life pouring through the galleries. Suddenly, it becomes about celebrating more than just art, but also equality, freedom, and the community in Miami – it’s a wonderful environment.
  2. Tell me more about Amyris’ presence at Art Basel this year and the importance of bringing some of Amyris’ sustainable consumer brands to this event/community?
    First and foremost, we’re here to support the artist community. A few of the Amyris brands are showing up in some exciting and unique ways throughout the week to show the intersection of design, art, lifestyle, and sustainability. Costa Brazil has partnered with Creative Time and artist Kamala Sankaram for her Opera for Trees, called “The Last Stand” and JVN Hair is partnering with a great Brazilian street artist, Speto. We’re also launching two new experiential spaces in the design district so that both the Biossance and JVN Hair brands can help people experience the power of clean chemistry and join us in changing the trajectory for the health of our planet. In these new spaces, people will be met with a great sense of wonder and innovation for how sustainable ingredients have the power to change the world. The future is bright and we’re proud to be a part of it.
  3. How are you seeing the art and design community start to think about sustainability/science and how their work intersects with larger, global goals toward building a healthier planet?
    Kamala Sankaram’s Opera for Trees is a great example of how artists are changing how we view our environmental impact. This project is based on the book “The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter,” which dives into how trees communicate with one another. Her sound piece is 10 hours-long, and is centered around how the forest speaks, through signals and sounds. It’s a conversation piece about how we can learn to respect their infinite knowledge and wisdom. Costa Brazil first debuted this project in partnership with Creative Time in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and it’s an honor to bring this work to the Art Basel community in Miami.
  4. From your perspective as a designer and creator who has joined the Amyris family, what do you think needs to happen to build and ensure a more sustainable future for all?
    Beyond more practical and sustainable designs, there needs to be better education and engagement around respect for the environment. What sets Amyris apart is the scientific platform and ability to make innovative products at scale that are sustainable, high-performing, and accessible. And that’s a very new approach that will take time and dedication to gain widespread understanding and adoption from consumers. We’re already well on the way and I believe that our continued actions will speak louder than words as we work to achieve our ESG goals over the next few years, addressing key issues around waste, plastic, manufacturing, and more.
  5. What are you most looking forward to for this year’s Art Basel?
    I’m looking forward to seeing people engage with our message. There will be a great deal of education to experience with the Costa Brazil, Biossance, JVN Hair, and Rose Inc brands around how we manufacture our clean and effective ingredients, without harming the planet. With the Amyris family of brands, we aim to offer consumers great products that respect nature.

Learn more about the family of consumer brands fueling a shift to sustainable consumption.

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