Post By: Nicole
Located on Madison Avenue just across from Barney’s, Louis Vuitton opened up an exclusive pop-up in collaboration with Jeff Koons. Well known for his balloon sculptures and pop art masterpieces, Koons has spent the last year quietly musing away at something different—a 51-piece handbag and accessories collection appropriately titled “Masters” featuring some of the most famous paintings of history.
The 4,200 square foot glass building embellished in gold LVxJK monograms evokes an art gallery vibe. Four oversized LED screens illuminate the 2-story store windows showcasing prints honoring the old Masters.
With influence from his 2013 “Gazing Ball” series the space mimics Koons’ affinity for reflective elements “presenting viewers with their own reflection as they gaze into works of past.” Oversized prints of iconic works by Vincent Van Gogh, Titian, Leonardo da Vinci, Peter Paul Rubens, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard become backdrops to the printed bags. According to reports it took over 50 tries for Louis Vuitton artisans to reproduce each painting to Koons’ specifications.
Descriptions of the work are printed on freestanding panels, while oversized mirrors separate each unique fashion creation. Crates adorned with both LV and JK’s signature gold symbols and a mirrored top, serve as elegant product pedestals next to the paintings.
Although there’s always been a close tie between the relationship of art and fashion, some have found the collaboration commercialized. In a NY Times interview Koons negated objections suggesting his desire to “eradicate the elitism of the art world.” Koons’ disbelief in any distinction between the bags and his art comes from his personal definition of art. “Art is something that connects in a profound way to the universal, and when it is about focusing on interests or information, it automatically achieves that.”