- Louis V Koons
Jeff Koons is a man of no small measures. Last November he showed the city of Paris a small gesture of goodwill in the form of a glass bunch of flowers that cost (the Fonds pour Paris) around 3millions Euros to produce. Though the sculpture is yet to actually be made, Koons has not stopped in his creative surge. This year he is going even bigger.
Sticking to French ties Koons has become the next in a string of artists to design a collection of bags for Louis Vuitton. Commissioned by Delphine Arnault, Koons’ new line will be called ‘Masters’, channeling
the greats from the art historical cannon. Not only will these bags appropriate the old works directly, but just in case you were at a loss as to who painted the Mona Lisa, Koons has kindly added a name tag to each of his designs which , naturally, is in large golden letters.
For those who are a little shy of the top heavy price tag that Koons’ larger sculptures command, these bags start at just $3,200. In effect it’s two for the price of one, buy one Koons get a Da Vinci (or Van Gogh, Titian, Rubens etc etc)
Koons states that in making these works more accessible he is raising the awareness of the Old Masters, whilst others argue that Koons is merely inflating his own ego by insinuating that his artwork is on a par with the greatest.
So are these style steals or are they just incredibly expensive prints? When you look at prints sold by Koons, the spenniest of the lot would set you back a cool 1.45 million USD and yet just last July one of his pieces failed to sell against an estimate of just 800 to 1,200 pounds.
Whilst stylistically this new collaboration has no obvious artistic merit, it is a classic tongue in cheek contribution that has Koons written all over it.
These “marmite” bags as GQ has branded them, go on sale this week. So far the celebrities who have been associated with the bags include. So it begs the questions; how much were they paid to pose with the bags? Or how much would you pay to carry a little bit of the Mona Lisa around with you? Then finally, is replicating a piece so special, so delicate, so mysterious and so debated over nearly 600 years in the form of a bag, rather mocking of the original? For such pieces that have, and will continue to stand the test of time, being appreciated, challenged and intellectualised, will this Koons’ collaborated ever be mentioned in the history books of tomorrow, let alone in years to come?