It might have been a recommendation passed onto me during a late night cocktail party in Bushwick in Brooklyn. But, during the course of my first 24 hours in New York, I found out about the “200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition by Louis Vuitton”, located at the old Barneys New York building in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Once I found out about it, I became obsessed with going. Not only because of the Virgil Abloh retrospective I’d viewed at the Brooklyn Museum. But, because I am fascinated by Louis Vuitton – the lore, the status symbol and the artistic movement of the brand.
I was able to make my way to the Upper East Side on the last day of my trip, before I caught my flight to Paris. I am so immensely pleased that I did. Central Park was beautiful, as always. But, the holiday decor at Dior! C’est magnifique!
Apart from the magic of the season outside the old Barneys building, what I found inside was visually, creativity provocative. Here were 200 artists, given full reign to reimagine a timeless object, each in their own voice.
It’s similar to the feeling I felt while touring the Veuve Clicquot Solaire Culture Exhibition in Beverly Hills earlier in the year. There is something lovely about reimagining a timeless classic. To me, it allows the energy of the entity to breathe, to be of the times and to be inspired – while being artistically inspiring.
Through each interpretation of the steamer trunk, from “digital fabric” displays (an LED screen in the shape of a box, with projected images of swirling fabrics) to the imagining of the trunk as a movement of water, captured in a static form, I witnessed new ways of viewing the ubiquitous house that is Louis Vuitton.
There’s always the “traditional” way of viewing an icon. In this case, the LV logo and the idea of the steamer trunk. But damn, it was truly fun to see the creative ways the artists chose to shine through in their various forms of work.
Perhaps that is the beauty of art – to be reimagined and reinterpreted in the spirit of modern times.
Barneys New York Building
660 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10065