I’ll admit it: for some time now I’ve had an infatuation with Louis Vuitton handbags. Their amalgam of available colors and textures; the shapes, sizes, format; the grid of monograms and logos; their presence in spam emails as a seductive agent of clickthrough links; and perhaps most-inspirational their pervasiveness and reproducibility on Canal Street in SoHo (what is spammed in email is spammed on the streets).
So you can imagine I was pretty chuffed when I stumbled upon a current exhibition at Espace Louis Vuitton in Paris of handbags by nine contemporary artists, including what looks like a smashing piece by James Turrell.
Of course Takashi Murakami has worked with Louis Vuitton in the past, but his studio’s collaborations were more commercially driven and simply included pressing his designs on Vuitton bags and coming up with clever display installations (including a cartoon-ad which can be viewed on YouTube), not so much interpretations of the bag or its presence-possibilities (such as Steamer bag by Andree Putnam).
BBC article on first Louis Vuitton exhibition by Vanessa Beecroft
another blog on Murakami and Vuitton
French website on nine handbags exhibition (WARNING: FRENCH!)
French blog with photos of artist handbags (WARNING: FRENCH!)
Another French blog on handbags (WARNING: FRENCH!)