Louis Vuitton has been actively highlighting its commitment to the world of arts in recent years, from opening its very own art museum, Fondation Louis Vuitton, in Paris, to collaborating with some of the most influential artists of our time, including Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama, Cindy Sherman and James Turrell. For its latest project, Louis Vuitton taps celebrated contemporary artist Jeff Koons — most famous for his colourful, oversize balloon sculptures — to re-imagine the house’s iconic bags with images of some of the world’s most famous paintings.
These images, however, are not simply reprints from the masterpieces; instead, they are based on Koons’ highly recognised Gazing Ball series, which encompasses large-scale, hand-painted reproductions of works by famous artists including Da Vinci, Titian, Rubens, Fragonard and Van Gogh. Each has a blue glass bauble placed in front to reflect the artist and viewer against the famous image, thus creating a connection between the two.
Titled ‘Masters‘, this new range of bags and accessories for Louis Vuitton acts as an extension to Koons’ painting series. According to the press statement, “By re-presenting these celebrated pieces on Louis Vuitton bags, Koons once again invites viewers to consider these works anew, opening the museum to the world and encouraging us to experience the Old Masters in novel ways.”
Bags from the collection include some of Louis Vuitton’s iconic models — the Speedy, the Keepall and the Neverfull — each boldly emblazoned with the name of the original artist whose work is represented. This, much like the mirrored ball in the original series, situates the artist within the heritage of Louis Vuitton and creates a connection between past and present.
In addition, the signature Louis Vuitton monogram has been configured into Koons’ own initials, along with a tag in the shape of the inflatable rabbit — an enduring motif throughout his 40-year career. Meanwhile, a biography and the portrait of the referenced artist can be found inside each bag.
This project represents only the first stage of Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Jeff Koons, so keep an eye out for further updates. In the meantime, you can browse the ‘Masters’ collection at Louis Vuitton’s boutiques across Hong Kong, or shop all pieces online.
Louis Vuitton, G/F, Shop 7-17, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 8100 1182