Fine Art Friday: The Masters Collection by Jeff Koons

Fashion meets fine art in the latest Louis Vuitton collaboration with American contemporary artist Jeff Koons. In April 2017, Louis Vuitton announced The Masters collection, a handbag, and accessories line featuring iconic artworks by old masters like Leonardo Da Vinci, Rubens and Vincent Van Gogh, among others. In October 2017, Koons returned with more artwork and even more masters for The Masters 2 collection. The luxury brand has partnered with other high profile contemporary artists in the past; in fact, they pioneered the idea. Creators like sculptor Sylvie Fleury, fashion designer Stephen Sprouse, photographer and film director Cindy Sherman, painter and film director Takashi Murakami, painter and photographer Richard Prince, fashion illustrator Julie Verhoeven, painter Yayoi Kusama, and sculptors Jake and Dinos Chapman have all designed exclusive LV handbags. Talk about arm candy!

From top row to bottom row: Yayoi Kusama x Louis Vuitton 2012 and Richard Prince x Louis Vuitton 2008

Jeffrey “Jeff” Koons is a painter and a sculptor from York, Pennsylvania. He currently lives and works in New York City. Mr. Koons tackles popular culture and consumerism in his conceptual art. He is mostly known for his appropriation of banal and domestic objects, also called readymades. His work has been classified as Neo-Pop, whereas some critics belittling the work call it Neo-Kitsch. The Masters collection for Louis Vuitton is actually inspired by his own series of gazing ball paintings from 2015. These paintings feature reproductions of various iconic master artworks like the Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Rubens The Tiger Hunt, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss and more. Each painting has a single blue reflective sphere fixed into the canvas.

A series of gazing ball paintings by Jeff Koons

The new Louis Vuitton handbags collection is very bold and is a far cry from the classic LV monogram design. The masterworks are transferred into the leather goods, although the blue balls are notably absent. Instead, Koons replaces them with reflective gold or silver letters that spell out the artist’s names across the bags. Both the LV and JK logos are present at the bottom edges of the purses. A biography and a picture of the Master, alongside Koons own biography, is featured on the inside of each bag.

Some of the handbags for the Masters Collection: Jeff Koons x Louis Vuitton 2017

Koons also added a colorful charm in the shape of a rabbit as his signature. This rabbit resembles one of his most famous artworks, a balloon-like sculpture titled simply Rabbit. This monochrome, highly polished stainless steel sculpture is part of his Statuary series.


Jeff Koons and his “Rabbit” sculpture

The Masters collection features a total of five artists and five artworks including the very famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, TheTiger Hunt by Peter Paul Rubens, Wheatfield with Cypresses by Vincent Van Gogh, Mars, Venus and Cupid by Titian and Girl with Dog by Jean Honoré Fragonard. On the other hand, The Masters 2 collection includes the following artists and their respective artworks: Reclining Girl by François Boucher, Delightful Land by Paul Gauguin, Luncheon on the Grass by Edouard Manet, Water Lilies by Claude Monet, Ancient Rome by J. M. W. Turner and Triumph of Pan by Nicolas Poussin.

This collection is available for purchase, with price tags ranging from $585 to $4,000. The entire series is made up of handbags in the models Speedy, Neverfull, Keepall, Montaigne, Clutch and Chain bag; a Palm Springs backpack; Zippy and Sarah wallets; a laptop case; iPad and iPhone folios; silk squares; shawls and bag charms.

So, which one will you get?