Louis Vuit­ton’s Masters x Louis Vuit­ton x Jeff Koons col­lec­tion is the lux­ury brand’s most epic artis­tic col­lab­o­ra­tion yet.

Louis Vuit­ton brings Jeff Koons and the Old Masters to­gether for its lat­est cul­tural col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Fashion (Canada) - - Contents - By Jac­que­lyn Fran­cis

If you’ve been to the Frank Gehry-de­signed Fon­da­tion Louis Vuit­ton in Paris, you know that the lux­ury fash­ion house has a deep con­nec­tion to the art world. Artis­tic di­rec­tor Ni­co­las Gh­esquière even staged its Fall 2017 show in the Lou­vre’s cen­tral sculp­ture atrium. In April, the house re­turned to the Lou­vre to un­veil the Masters x Louis Vuit­ton x Jeff Koons line of hand­bags and ac­ces­sories.

It’s not the first time Louis Vuit­ton has worked with an artist to cre­ate a leather-goods col­lec­tion; it part­nered with Stephen Sprouse in 2001 and Yayoi Kusama in 2012. But this lat­est col­lab­o­ra­tion is truly epic be­cause it’s with Koons—the world’s most ex­pen­sive liv­ing artist—and fea­tures iconic works of art from the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Ti­tian and Peter Paul Rubens.

The in­spi­ra­tion came from Koons’s Gaz­ing Ball se­ries. For this project, the New York­based artist re­painted 35 pieces from the Old Masters canon for a 2015 ex­hibit at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. In the cen­tre of each work, Koons placed a shelf that held a re­flec­tive blue sphere. When you looked at the art, you saw your­self re­flected in­side the paint­ing. “This ex­pe­ri­ence is about you—your de­sires, your in­ter­ests, your re­la­tion­ship with this im­age,” Koons told The Guardian at the time.

For this col­lab­o­ra­tion with LV, Koons chose five pieces from his Gaz­ing Ball se­ries that he said re­flected “the breadth of the canon of art his­tory from a present-day point of view”: Rubens’s Tiger, Lion and Leop­ard Hunt, da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Jean-Honoré Frag­o­nard’s Young Girl Play­ing with Her Dog, Ti­tian’s Mars, Venus and Cupid and Vin­cent van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Cy­presses. “[There are] land­scapes but also dy­namic paint­ings, Baroque paint­ings [and] in­ti­mate paint­ings about love,” ex­plained Koons.

Ex­cept for da Vinci’s Mona Lisa—which is im­me­di­ately rec­og­niz­able—the works are only par­tially rep­re­sented, and each artist’s name is em­bla­zoned on the leather. It took up­wards of 50 at­tempts to print the paint­ings as faith­fully as pos­si­ble, but the re­sults are highly col­lectible pieces of art in their own right.

“To me, art is some­thing that lets us be­come more aware of our life, our po­ten­tial and what we can be­come,” said Koons. “I think Louis Vuit­ton com­mu­ni­cates that through the time, craft and ma­te­ri­als [used to pro­duce its pieces]. And my art tries to do that also, through ideas and through the same ap­pre­ci­a­tion of craft.”

FROM ABOVE: THE MASTERS X LOUIS

VUIT­TON X JEFF KOONS COL­LAB­O­RA­TION WAS IN­SPIRED BY KOONS’S 2015 GAZ­ING BALL SE­RIES; KOONS’S GAZ­ING BALL ( RUBENS’ TIGER HUNT ), 2015; CHIARA FERRAGNI, AIMEE SONG AND MICHELLE WILLIAMS AT THE LAUNCH PARTY AT THE LOU­VRE

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