We love when major high end luxury fashion houses, do something a bit different. For the first time in the Middle East, Louis Vuitton has commissioned the renowned Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri, to create one off artworks for the windows of the UAE stores. The unique project comprises four separate artworks that will each be presented in one of each of the windows in the UAE: the Abu Dhabi Marina Mall store, and in Dubai the windows of Louis Vuitton in Burjuman Mall, Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. The four windows, entitled Once Upon A Time (Mall of the Emirates), Writing In Waterfalls (Burjuman Mall Dubai), Top of the World (Dubai Mall) and Frosting Stories (Abu Dhabi Marina Mall) are each an enchanting depiction of contradicting concepts often relayed to the nature of his materials. Moshiri continues to push his resources beyond their inherent qualities by deconstructing any pre-conceived notions associated with them thus situating them in a new perspective. The dazzling use of ‘candy’ colours and hybrid materials of each of the window artworks immediately captures the eye and holds the attention of the viewer.
“I do like to show my work in places that are not necessarily intended for art. And I also like to produce the kind of work with materials that are not intended for art. This project with Louis Vuitton, really gives you an opportunity and a privilege to show in such an exciting place and to reach such a diverse public. It’s exciting to me and very fascinating. I’m envious of myself almost,” says Moshiri.
Moshiri presents a vast repertoire of work, which continues to simplify his subjects through his composition and style within the neo-pop movement. In these his newest works, the continued experimentation with Swarovski crystals, plastic pearls, embroidery, acrylic, and glitter led him to produce four aesthetically magical artworks that incorporate textured and sculptural approaches at a highly contemporary level. During the process of creation, Moshiri was invited to the Louis Vuitton family house and workshops in Asnieres, Paris, to witness the artisans and craftsmen producing leathergoods and trunks and so transmitting the heritage and savoir faire preserved through many generations at Louis Vuitton. Craftsmanship being an inherent part of his work, Moshiri found this experience nourishing and mirroring in many ways the execution of his own artworks, which in part are assisted by women in Iran who transmit from one generation to another the art of embroidery and other skills.
“For Louis Vuitton, the collaboration with the world of art is more a question of affinity than of a provocation or image booster. Luxury, fashion and art are both expressions of emotion and passion; they search the exceptional and give us an alternative view of the world. Art inspires fashion and luxury, as luxury and fashion inspires art…” says Yves Carcelle, CEO and President of Louis Vuitton
Through both over the top ornamentation and tongue in cheek pop culture, Moshiri complicates viewing mechanisms between Eastern and Western approaches to aesthetics, as well as the power dynamics inherent within those mechanisms. Operating as a visual pun, Moshiri’s art often takes up activities of normality portrayed with an underlying tone of cynicism. Beyond his seemingly attractive works lies a more painful and more complex reality that is imbued with nostalgia and irony.
“Farhad Moshiri’s window project with Louis Vuitton offers the general public a wonderful and rare opportunity to experience the work of one of the most innovative and enchanting artists working today in the Middle East. Although this marks a new area of representation for Moshiri, his windows installation in Abu Dhabi and Dubai joins a long and colourful repertoire of past window collaborations for Louis Vuitton designed by contemporary artists since 2002, with the first window by artist Bob Wilson, and followed by collaborations with Olafur Elliason, Takashi Murakami and Ugo Rondinone. It is important also that Louis Vuitton celebrates and pays tribute to the dynamism of art in the region, as first exemplified by our recent collaboration with Nadim Karam, unveiled during Art Dubai in March this year, and now with this wonderful Farhad Moshiri windows project, thereby paying homage to Art Abu Dhabi this month,” says Damien Vernet, General Manager of Louis Vuitton Middle East and India.
The Farhad Moshiri Children’s Art Workshop – October 2011
The windows collaboration comes just one month after Moshiri conducted a playful Louis Vuitton children’s art workshop with Dubai based kids, for the benefit of START.
In October 2011, Louis Vuitton was proud to join forces with Moshiri for a unique children’s workshop, which ran for an entire day allowing over 40 multi-national Dubai-based children, between the ages of 6 and 10 years, to learn of the creativity involved behind cake decorating. All executed, of course, in the quintessential style of Moshiri. Each child was given a double-layered fully frosted 12 inch cake and a plethora of different candy to choose from, and encouraged by the artist to fully realise the freedom of creativity. The results, unveiled this month, were as enchanting as they were surprising.
The workshop, held at Ductac Mall of the Emirates, pushed the materials beyond their inherent quality of mere candy under the unique direction of Moshiri. Each cake became an artwork and each child an artist. In November, images of each cake will be unveiled at the Mall of the Emirates Louis Vuitton store, in the presence of both artist and children, and presented as photographs in a special book with a donation made to START.
About Louis Vuitton Artistic Window Collaborations
From 1874, twenty years after its creation, Louis Vuitton establishes close relationships with the contemporary art.
The privileged links which the Louis Vuitton House maintains with the painting, the decorative arts and the design emanate from a desire always renewed by modernity and by creativity. The work with the artists becomes famous at first in the universe of luggage then, very fast, extends in more varied domains.
Forerunner from the 20s, Gaston Vuitton imagines a concept of “surprise windows” for stores.
More than 80 years later, the stage designer and visual artist Robert Wilson does make reborn this tradition by animating of fluos colors the Christmas windows of the Louis Vuitton stores all around the world for the end of the year 2002. For the occasion, inspired by the symbolic strength of Louis Vuitton, Bob Wilson reinterprets the emblem LV in a personal and innovative version.
The Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone proposes for the windows of Christmas 2004 an entitled creation “Winter Journey” inspired by the melancholic cycle of Schubert. The stage setting is centred around a tree paved by mirrors revealed by the colors of the rainbow. The moving scenography of this winter landscape invites the spectator in the journey.
The “Eye See You” project realized by Olafur Eliasson illuminates the shop windows of Christmas 2006. After several collaborations with the Louis Vuitton House, the artist rethinks his favourite subjects, the nature and the sense of experiment, by his work around a lamp in a form of a pupil, which emits a monochromatic light of a yellow colour similar to the sun.
In constant search for novelty, Louis Vuitton invited the students of the prestigious Central St Martins to imagine the Christmas windows of 2007. The winning project “Latitude 48.914 / Longitude 02.286” makes reference to the historic workshop in Asnières and marks the departure of an imaginary journey illustrated by a wooden installation with abstract outlines.
The Louis Vuitton Maison is a special concept, immediately identifiable and distinct from straightforward store. Each Maison committed to the artistic and cultural life of the city, proposes artistic and cultural discoveries to its visitors.
Fabrizio Plessi collaborated with Louis Vuitton (2007) in the Maison Louis Vuitton in Canton Road, Hong Kong. The inspiration behind the video installation called “Luxury is slow” is the timeless origin of the luxury and the sense of calm evoked by luxury in a more and more chaotic world.
In 2008, Takashi Murakami had again the starring role in 5th Avenue windows for holiday’s period: the famous Monogram multicolour and the flowers were made in transparent vinyl illuminated by night.
In 2010, Louis Vuitton celebrated Diwali Festival thanks to the creativity and the savoir faire of Rajeev Sethi, well know Indian artist who modernised the traditional Indian artisan’s work. Trunks handpainted on banana leaf were illuminated giving to the visitors a sense of joyful and peace.
About Farhad Moshiri
Farhad Moshiri was born in Shiraz and currently lives in Tehran, Iran. He studied art and filmmaking at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Moshiri received international acclaim with his jar series – paintings of large jars and bowls embellished with highly textured calligraphy and abdjad, an ancient Arabic clerical code, correlating letters and numerals.
Moshiri was the first Iranian artist to achieve the one million dollar mark at auction (Eshgh, which means ‘Love’ in Farsi, is an embroidered work spelling out the word in Swarovski crystals and glitter on canvas with acrylic). His work is exhibited extensively throughout both the Middle East and internationally in prominent group exhibitions such as Iran Inside Out, Chelsea Art Museum, New York (2009) and Hope!, Palais des Arts, Paris, France (2010). Moshiri has held more than twenty solo exhibitions in prestigious avenues and international art fairs. His work is part of collections at large art institutions such as the British Museum, UK and Virginia Museum of Fine Art, USA as well as the Farjam Collection, Dubai, UAE.
Farhad Moshiri is represented by The Third Line in the Middle East and Emmanuel Perrotin and Thadeus Ropac in Europe.
About Louis Vuitton and Art
A symbol of elegance and style throughout the world, Louis Vuitton has cultivated a close relationship with the world of art since its founding in 1854. Inventing the art of travel, Louis Vuitton and his successors kept pace with a rapidly changing age, working with the most accomplished engineers, decorators, painters, photographers and designers of the day. This fascination with ever-new forms of expression grew through the subsequent decades and continues today under the guidance of its artistic director, Marc Jacobs. Following on from Louis Vuitton’s previous collaborations in the 1980s with painters such as César, Sol LeWitt and Olivier Debré, Marc Jacobs has since invited some of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists to join forces with Louis Vuitton, increasing the points of exchange between art and fashion to an unprecedented degree. Among these renowned artistic partnerships, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and the late Stephen Sprouse interacted directly with the Maison’s iconic Monogram, freely appropriating its forms and visual identity. Collaborations between Louis Vuitton and other artists have taken a variety of forms: shop window designs, site specific art installations for stores, contemporary art exhibitions at the Espace Louis Vuitton in Paris and the acquisitions of artworks for the Maison’s own collection. In the same spirit, Louis Vuitton has called upon an international pantheon of architects to design its stores, including Jun Aoki, Kumiko Inui and Peter Marino.