What happens when high art meets haute fashion? Heirloom must-have or tacky souveneir-shop tat?
Jeff Koons has teamed with Louis Vuitton for an art-fashion collaboration called Masters, based off his Gazing Ball paintings.
The Gazing Ball show – Koons’ contemporary balloon dogs meets old masters’ masterpieces – was based on Koons’ childhood obsession with the Old Masters. Koons took 35 masterpieces, from Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait Wearing A Hat, Manet’s Déjeuner Sur l’Herbe to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and added a large, blue glass bauble. The baubles, or ‘gazing balls’, are attached to a shelf on the painting, meaning that when you view it, you also see yourself reflected in the bauble and the masterpiece. When the show opened in the Gagosian gallery in New York last year, Koons said,“these paintings in their own time were some of the greatest masterpieces in western art history, but in this time, this moment, they’re most powerful as they are in this state of gazing.”
Now Koons has brought the imagery from his Gazing Ball series to range of Louis Vuitton products. Fragonard, Da Vinci, Titian, Rubens and Van Gogh are emblazoned in metallics across the Speedy, Neverfull and Keepall bags with Koons’ initials and a dangling tag of his pink inflatable rabbit.
Koons’ Balloon Dog is the most expensive art work by a living artist and sold in Christie’s in New York for $58.4million in 2013. He joins a line of Louis Vuitton collaboraters including Cindy Sherman, Takashi Murakami and Stephen Sprouse.
In more art-meets-fashion frolics, wearable art crops up again in Tod’s newest collaboration. The iconic double T bag has been recreated again by tattoo artist Saira Hunjan for an exclusive edition.
Saira Hunjan came to prominence in a career as a tattooist while studying fine art. In this collection, tattoo art meets unique feline designs, tattooed onto leather worked by Tod’s. Saira’s work is highly influenced by her Indian heritage and trips to the country, and her trademark is goddesses, mythical beasts, images of nature, tribal patterns and gypsies.
Check out Suki Waterhouse and craftsmanship of Saira Hujan in this short film from Tod’s.