You might not quite understand American art legend Jeff Koons ‘Gazing Ball’ painting series from 2015. We don’t blame you. For those unfamiliar with the work, here’s what it is about in essence: Koons replicated masterpieces by artists like Da Vinci and Titian; he blew them up to bigger canvas sizes; and attached blue glass balls handblown in Pennsylvania in front of these paintings.
The whole experience is meant to be metaphysical art. To quote the Gagosian: “Through the simple act of placing a gazing ball in front of the images, painting and sculpture are reunited for maximum sensory perception, as in ancient times.”
If that sounds too esoteric, here’s what you need to know: The paintings have inspired a major collaboration with Louis Vuitton, who of late has been amping up its tie-up game. Just think of the publicity it received from the Supreme and Fragment projects.
With regard to Louis Vuitton’s Jeff Koons exercise, it’s one part brilliant marketing, one part smart retail manoeuvre, and one part a great way to introduce interest in the fine arts in the wake of waning numbers in museum attendance. It’s also bound to be a commercial success for Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere — the same way the brands’ previous collaborations with Stephen Sprouse and Haruki Murakami did for his predecessor Marc Jacobs.
As for what the customer can expect when the collection launches on April 28 at the brand’s Island Maison at Marina Bay Sands, Ngee Ann City and Ion Orchard stores? The outing features a series of bags and accessories like scarves and bag charms featuring some of the maison’s popular designs like the Speedy and the Neverfull.
The masterpieces like Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ and Flemish painter Peter Paul Ruben’s ‘The Tiger Hunt’ are plastered on the bags prominently, with the names of the respective artists boldly emblazoned in gold letters. It’s going to be a loud fashion statement — but that’s exactly the whole point of owning a piece of Koons.
Here, we highlight some of our favourites pieces to snag.