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.
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