True to her signature throughout the years, she applies her motifs ad infinitum, completely invading the space. The last time that Louis Vuitton met the magic of Yayoi Kusama was in 2012. Yet this relationship never ended – ten years after, it evolved, and expanded with conversations continued and extended.
Louis Vuitton has a long history of working with artists, which can be traced back to almost a century ago when the eponymous founder’s grandson and family esthete, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, began commissioning artists to create store windows and works for the stores themselves. This impetus has traveled through time and has had even more resonance in the contemporary era; Since 1988, the Maison has invited some of the biggest names in art and design to collaborate including, Sol LeWitt, Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons among others.
Here, Kusama’s signature objects, motifs and imaginings of infinity take-over the Maison and all of its product categories: from bags to menswear; women’s wear to sunglasses; fragrances to shoes and accessories. In turn, there is an evolution of some of Louis Vuitton’s own emblematic pieces, making them equally part of their own and Kusama’s transformative world.
In line with Louis Vuitton’s past artistic collaborations, the encounter between the Maison and Yayoi Kusama is grounded in sincerity, in iconoclasm, and above all, in a mutual appreciation of craft and excellence over the commonplace.
Perhaps it is most fitting that this incarnation of the Louis Vuitton and Kusama creative exchange starts where the 2012 conversation left off, with a gift. A gift that encompasses their two worlds most completely.
In 2012, Yayoi Kusama took one of the most timeless and magical of the Maison’s emblematic objects and made it her own – she hand-painted a Louis Vuitton trunk with her characteristic polka dots, dots that, for Kusama, represent infinity.
It is an exact replica of these dots, a true representation of Kusama’s hand that is one of the many things in the project that has challenged and advanced the Maison’s savoir-faire. Each incarnation of the polka dots has been presided over by Kusama personally – as have all the many and varied objects in the project – being moved with precision to the nearest millimetre, brushstrokes echoed in uncanny detail with their texture and weight intact. It is in this pursuit of the infinite through craft that both Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama are ultimately united. It is in the making of magical objects that transcend space and time that both are engaged in and recognize each other through.
It is here that both Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama want the person who possesses such objects to feel both the care and emotional investment it took to make them; to become part of their story and one that will hopefully become part of the story of future generations – stretching into infinity.
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