ART TO ORDER
IT’S JEFF ONS’S WORLD, AND WE’RE JUST LIVING IN IT—AND DRESSING FOR IT—AS HE ANNOUNCES A NEW COLLECTION FOR LOUIS VUITTON. BY ADRIENNE GAFFNEY
It’s Jeff Koons’s world, and we’re just living in it—and dressing for it—as he announces a new collection for Louis Vuitton.
Jeff Koons, the Pop Art-influenced provocateur behind balloon-dog sculptures and Old Master reproductions, has always been better received by the general public than by the art world. But now the latter is catching up, following a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum, a prominent new public installation in New York, and, most recently, a gala in his honor at MOCA in LA. But as the conversation shifts around him, Koons remains happily himself at the center, announcing a major commercial collaboration in the form of a new fashion collection for none other than Louis Vuitton.
Dubbed “Masters,” Koons’s pieces for the Parisian powerhouse deploy a premise similar to his “Gazing Ball” series, in which he hand-painted reproductions of some of art history’s greatest works and placed a gleaming blue orb at their center. This time, Koons has taken five of the most recognizable paintings in the history of art—da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Titian’s Mars, Venus and Cupid, Rubens’s The Tiger Hunt, Fragonard’s Girl with Dog, and Van Gogh’s A Wheatfield with Cypresses— and placed them on purses, totes, scarves, bag charms, and shawls.
This is the first time an original Koons has been featured in a fashion collaboration. “What’s wonderful about working with Louis Vuitton is their resources. They [have] the finest in the world,” says the 62-year-old artist. “The first samples come through and it’s like, ‘Wow! That’s better than anything I’ve seen before.’”
Each accessory is adorned with the original artist’s last name in glitzy, appliquéd letters, providing a quick lesson in art history and in personal branding before the Instagram era. For his part, Koons signs the works, too: His initials appear as part of the classic Louis Vuitton monogram. Americana Manhasset, 2060 Northern Blvd., 516-3654766; louisvuitton.com
Museum pieces: Jeff Koons (left) gilds Louis Vuitton accessories with art history masterworks, including Fragonard’s Girl with Dog on the Montaigne MM bag ($4,000, below left), Rubens’s The Tiger Hunt on the Palm Springs backpack ($3,200, right), and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa on the Chain bag ($3,900, bottom right).