It’s here—the first glow-in-the-dark LV Capucines bag, thanks to the whimsical art sensibilities of French artist Amélie Bertrand. Seeking inspiration from the atmosphere of summer nightlife, Bertrand has happily gone to town, as have five other artists in their signature styles. Louis Vuitton’s celebration of art on its classic Capucines handbag is back in its fourth edition, offering Capucines as a canvas to six artists. And in their inimitable styles, they have nurtured new life to the bags. Artists Amelie Bertrand, Daniel Buren, Ugo Rondinone, Peter Marino, Park Seo-Bo and Kennedy Yanko have stamped their compelling creatives on Capucines.
Bertrand applies her characteristic iridescence, shadows, and the tropics to Capucines, resulting in a completely different yet comforting avatar of the timeless bag. She dazzles us with her signature hallucinatory images–brightly coloured leitmotifs of chains, camouflage, tiles and tropical plants. The distinguishing feature, though, is the bag’s aptitude to glow in the dark. Thanks to an innovative pigment treatment, Bertrand’s entire Artycapucines radiates a warm phosphorescent, from the resin handle to the studs on the base, including the stitching on the shoulder strap.
“I never attempt to create real spaces, only painted ones,” Bertrand says of her visual universe of synthetic psychedelia, skewed perspectives, and shallow horizons. She borrows from her sets of lithographs of 2021, ‘Don’t Call Me Daisy’; the chains and the flowers, the play on light… It’s a colourful nightclub ride on the surface of the Capucines!
A Stiff Pour
A stark contrast to Bertrand’s bright world of colours is American artist Kennedy Yanko’s muted, earthy palette of her Artycapucines. Yanko’s preferred method of work is in found metal and ‘paint skin’, a material she makes by pouring large amounts of paint, letting it dry, and using the sheet-like form to create new sculptural compositions both flowing yet solid. For Artycapucines, she experiments with leather, working with Louis Vuitton artisans in an intensive process that yielded a unique anthropomorphic quality. Her focus was to lend a highly ‘functional’ element to the bag. “Once we’d figured out the colours and style and how to create the bag itself, I was particularly interested in making something functional,” Yanko describes her approach.
One of the world’s leading contemporary artists, Daniel Buren, is also part of the current edition of Artycapucines. Art lovers familiar with his style will notice the trademark vertical stripes and heavy references to the colour palette from his celebrated work, ‘Observatory of Light’. “The Artycapucines has a really simple design: a trapezoid base and the art of a circle as the handle. Everything starts from there,” the French artist shares about his Artycapucines.
For New York’s Peter Marino, inspiration struck when he laid eyes on a medieval box in a 14th-century building in Venice. Placed near the monumental staircase designed by Italian architect Mauro Codussi, the box had straps and a medieval key. An architect himself, Marino designed his Artycapucines in all black, recreating the elements.
On the opposite spectrum is Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s Artycapucines, with its joyful burst of colours. The artist chose two archetypal symbols: the clown and the rainbow. The clown represents a nonbinary character, while the rainbow is a communal archetype for unity and peace and refers equally to the gay liberation movement.
One of Korea’s most celebrated artists, Park Seo-Bo, adapts a 2016 work from his celebrated “Écriture” series to the surface of the Capucines. The iconic bag stands tall and dignified in intense red, richly embellished with the Korean master’s memory of a valley by Mount Bandai, Japan. He recalls, “The valley was aligned with the sun, so it appeared to be almost neon red. The colour was so intense that it felt like I was looking at a flame that was chasing me to my death. That moment acted as a reminder that I’m only a tiny being in front of the vastness of nature.”
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