Louis Vuitton Art Collaborations
Today (11.04.2017) Louis Vuitton is unveiling a new collection of bags at Paris’ Louvre. There’s a good reason why the French label has chosen one of the world’s most famous landmarks for the big reveal too: the accessories depict works by great masters including the Mona Lisa, only ‘rebranded’ thanks to the witty and subversive style of Jeff Koons.
Koons, the Pop Artist Provocateur, whose works in the ’80s and ’90s were rather more risqué (look up his ‘Made in Heaven’ series and ‘Karma Sutra’ sculptures) has toned down his artistic output of late. Recent works have revolved around his ‘Gazing Ball’ obsession, which we wrote about last year. The Gazing Ball is quite literally a blue reflective sphere that finds its way into different worlds that the artist inhabits from Instagram to celebrity circles (no pun). Blue half-spheres, or domes, have even been added to reproductions of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa and Titian’s Pastoral Concert. The idea is that you are immersed in the art only in an unfamiliar blue world. That’s our take on the concept anyway.
This new collaboration with Louis Vuitton will feature works by Peter Paul Rubens, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Titian and Vincent Van Gogh transposed on Vuitton bags such as the Speedy, the Keepall and the Neverfull. We’re expecting an unusual ‘Koons’ twist of course.
Louis Vuitton has consistently worked with artists and photographers over the past decade to push the boundaries of fashion into the realms of higher thought and contemplation. Be it as loud graffiti expressionism or quiet introspective portraiture… the latter brings us to our first top ten:
Louis Vuitton Art Collaborations
Juergen Teller for Louis Vuitton AW16 lookbook
The photographer, who has for years and years created the campaigns for Marc Jacobs, was commissioned for Nicholas Ghesquiére’s AW16 lookbook. Juergen Teller‘s photographic style is unmistakable: ultra-vivid shots often taken at off-kilter angles within a setting that throws a whole loads of visual metaphors at you at once. In this case, it’s a rooftop/ping pong getaway/construction site.
Jake and Dinos Chapman for Louis Vuitton
Kim Jones, creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, is a big fan of the siblings who first came to the attention of the art world with Charles Saatchi’s 1997 Sensation exhibition, the same show that showcased Damien Hirst’s incredible pickled shark (you know the one)! In AW13 the pair created a print for Louis Vuitton called the Garden of Hell, which as the name suggests was a Hieronymus Bosch-like vision of a flourishing garden. For SS17 the Chapman Brothers have revisited this idea through demonic safari animals. A snarling giraffe and a mean looking rhino are part of a printed bestiary that adorn bags, ready-to-wear and travel cases. Jones, who is a well-known wildlife lover and conservationist may have been trying to give nature the upper hand with this pictorial zoological revolt!
Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton
One of the most memorable collaborations in Louis Vuitton’s history has to be this one with arguably the world’s most popular living artist, Yayoi Kusama. In 2012 the Japanese painter and sculptor created her signature polka dot pattern for a limited collection of bags and accessories for the French house. Kusama’s career, which has spanned an extraordinary 60 years, has spanned a multitude or artistic genres from performance and literature to sculptural installations and architecture. Her sell-out shows are ever-exuberant and optimism, despite the fact that there are darker undertones to her work. The artist has had mental health problems since she was a young teenager and lives (willingly) in a mental health institution in Japan. The Polka Dot Princess, as she has been affectionately christened, is a modern day peacemaker, seemingly quiet and unassuming but with a soul as fierce as her flaming red wig: “My main message is please stop war and live out the brilliance of life. I want to keep my profile as high as possible even after I have died.”
Richard Prince for Louis Vuitton
It was back in 2008 that Louis Vuitton hooked up with controversial artist Richard Prince, who has made a name for himself appropriating and repurposing the work of others. His iconoclastic ‘re-spun’ art got him in trouble with Ivanka Trump last year, but that’s a whole other story which we’ll leave to the Guardian online to explain Former creative director of Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, who handpicked Prince for this infamous collaboration, featured models as sexy/psycho nurses on his SS2008 catwalk. Their image borrowed from Prince’s own tableaux of erotic scary nurses, themselves borrowed from the covers of vintage pulp fiction novels. Phew. More commercial and a huge hit to this day are the graffiti printed scarves and accessories.
Louis Vuitton and Design Objects or Objets Nomades
For five years now, Louis Vuitton has collaborated with young furniture designers for show-stopping pieces that it presents at Milan’s Salone Del Mobile. The initiative was first launched in 2012 at Design Miami, with a view to encourage progressive design concepts around the theme of travel and luxury. These pieces are made using LV leather and materials – and the results are often astonishing. Just look at this stunning ‘Floral Totem’ created for the 2015 presentation by Damien Langlois-Meurinne. See Louis Vuitton’s latest Objets Nomades in our Salone del Mobile review for 2017.
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