Louis Vuitton will unveil the second collection of bags and accessories designed with the world-renowned American contemporary artist on October 27, 2017. Baroque Access finds out about his latest magical creations
This month, Louis Vuitton will launch a second collection put together with contemporary artist, Jeff Koons. Recognized as one of the most influential living artists, Koons has based these handbags and accessories on his ‘Masters’ series of paintings. The second chapter of what has already been a resounding success will debut on October 27 and will include the following masterpieces: Reclining Girl by François Boucher; Delightful Land by Paul Gauguin; Luncheon on the Grass by Edouard Manet; Water Lilies by Claude Monet; The Triumph of Pan by Nicolas Poussin (exclusive for Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme) and Ancient Rome by J.m.W. Turner.
This new set of paintings relates to Koons’ connection to each of these iconic artists. “They are part of my DNA,” he says. “When somebody walks down the street with this bag, or sits in a cafe with this bag,” Koons says of the Manet Neverfull, “it’s communicating a love of humanism.”
As with the first chapter of the Masters collection, Koons has also reconfigured the famous Louis Vuitton Monogram to bear his initials. This move represents a radical departure for Louis Vuitton, as the House has never previously allowed its iconic pattern to be reshaped.
Just as his legendary Gazing Ball paintings placed Koons within the lineage of art history, so this second collaboration puts the artist within the heritage of Louis Vuitton itself, and demonstrates the power of the artistic gesture to connect the present with a shared cultural history.
Elements from the new Jeff Koons/Louis Vuitton Monogram have been crafted by Louis Vuitton in metal and placed on the exterior of each bag, as has Koons’ own signature. The Master collection of handbags also feature a tag in the shape of the inflatable rabbit that has proved to be a signature motif in Koons’ work throughout his 40-year career, while a biography and portrait of the Master whose work has been referenced is featured on the inside of the bag.
In recent years, Louis Vuitton has affirmed its commitment to an engagement with the world of art through a series of high-profile collaborations with the most influential artists of our times. Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Yayoi Kusama, Cindy Sherman, James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson and Daniel Buren have all worked with Louis Vuitton on commissioned artworks, the development of new products and the staging of fashion shows, expanding the French House’s role as both patron and curator in creating new ways for the public to experience the arts.
This relationship culminated in 2014 with the opening of the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, a distinctive art museum designed by Frank Gehry. The second series of the Jeff Koons Masters collection builds on that well-established and famous foundation, further exploring the intersection of fashion and art.
The new collection of handbags feature the following masters’ works:
· François Boucher – Reclining girl (1752). Located in the Alte Pinakothek museum in Munich, Germany.
· Paul Gauguin – Delightful land (1892). Located in the Ohara Museum of Art in Kurashiki, Japan. Presently at the Grand Palais exhibition “Gauguin l’Alchimiste” in Paris.
· Édouard Manet – Luncheon on the grass (1863). On display in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
· Claude Monet – Water lilies (1916). Part of the Matsukata Collection in the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, Japan.
· Nicolas Poussin – The triumph of Pan (1636). On display in the National Gallery in London.
· J.m.W. Turner – Ancient Rome (1839). Part of the collection of the Tate in London.