LOUIS VUITTON COLLABORATES WITH ARTIST YAYOI KUSAMA
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is known worldwide as an avant-garde artist and champion of total, hypnotic and colourful art. She is also one of the emblematic figures of the hippie years. Over the years, she has remained true to her signature style, designing an infinite number of motifs that completely engulf the space.
From her unfavourable beginnings in 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, Kusama magically and determinedly changed her life. She brought out the powerful enchantment of her art as she travelled the world from Tokyo to New York in the 1950s and 1960s, saving herself in the process. She is the artist whose work reflected a glimpse of the infinite and, after what seemed a hiatus to the outside world when she returned to Japan in the 1970s, she has emerged as the leading world artist of the 21st century and certainly the most successful living female artist.
The last time Louis Vuitton met the magic of Yayoi Kusama was in 2012.
Yet the relationship never ended – a decade later, it has evolved and grown, along with new conversations continuing and expanding. Louis Vuitton has a long tradition of collaborations with artists, dating back almost a century, when the grandson of the family’s eponymous founder and aesthete, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, commissioned artists to design window displays and artwork for the shops. This impulse has continued over time and is even more influential today; since 1988, the House has invited some of the biggest names in art and design to collaborate, including Sol LeWitt, Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons. Here, Kusama’s talismanic objects, patterns and depictions of the infinite take over the House and all its product categories: from bags to menswear, from womenswear to sunglasses, and from fragrances to shoes and accessories. In turn, some of Louis Vuitton’s iconic items evolve and become part of their own universe and that of Kusama.
In keeping with Louis Vuitton’s previous artistic collaborations, the meeting between the House and Yayoi Kusama is underpinned by sincerity, iconoclasm and, above all, a mutual appreciation of craftsmanship and excellence over banality. At Louis Vuitton, anything is possible when it comes to the magic of making objects.
It is perhaps most fitting that this epitome of creative exchange between Louis Vuitton and Kusama begins where the 2012 conversation left off, with a gift. A gift that best encompasses both worlds. In 2012, Yayoi Kusama took one of the House’s most timeless and magical objects and made it her own: she painted a Louis Vuitton suitcase with her signature dots, which for Kusama represent infinity.