We’ve seen our fair proportion of Hermès baggage as excessive artwork—whether or not it was George Apartment’s portray on a Birkin bag that Kanye West gave Kim Kardashian for Christmas in 2013, Birkin stone reproduction by Barbara Ségal owned by Rihanna, and even Paris Hilton’s pink Birkin bag, coated in Swarovski crystals. Now, an exhibition opening this week in London pairs up Hermès baggage with artworks to attract a parallel between artwork and luxurious handicraft.
The Art of Hermès, opening October 14 on the Omer Tiroche Gallery in Mayfair, showcases 10 luxurious purses—particularly, Birkin and Kelly Hermès baggage—alongside 10 artworks by world-renowned artists together with Andy Warhol, Christo, and Yayoi Kusama. The luggage themselves aren’t painted, nor modified in any approach to mirror the artists—exhibiting them alongside trendy artworks from French summary painter Pierre Soulages and Italian avant-garde modernist Lucio Fontana hyperlinks unique equipment to influential artworks. The present goals to discover the connection between excessive style and artwork and, in a method, compares Hermès’s most coveted items to artistic endeavors.
Tiroche, the exhibition’s curator and gallerist, defined that every paintings is paired up with a bag, prompting a dialog with artwork historical past, as every Hermès bag on view matches the artworks, be it in model, tone, shade or texture.
He started planning this exhibition this summer time, making telephone calls to get the baggage on mortgage from girls who’ve unique collections. “One lady mentioned she doesn’t use this bag throughout the week, however on the weekend she does,” Tiroche mentioned. “So, each Friday afternoon, I’ve to drop the bag off at her home, then on Monday morning I’ve to select it again up for the exhibition.” (And whereas the artworks are on the market, the purses usually are not).
Because the world’s most in-demand luxurious purse, Kelly and Birkin baggage may simply be thought-about excessive artwork due to their craftsmanship—but in addition, attributable to their unique entry. “The variety of hours that goes into the craftsmanship, the many years of expertise earlier than a craftsman could make a bag is unbelievable, about 30 years,” mentioned Tiroche. “There are ready lists, patrons are instructed ‘no.’”
Among the many artworks featured within the exhibition, Fontana, who noticed his rise within the post-war Europe, exhibits Concetto Spaziale (which means “Spatial Idea” in English), an oil on canvas paintings from 1962. It’s proven alongside a “So Black Kelly” 35 purse, handcrafted in matte black alligator.
One other work on view is Piero Manzoni’s multi-media Achrome from 1958-59, which is product of a grid-like sample of cotton squares coated in kaolin. It attracts a parallel to the white Togo leather-based within the Hermès bag, “Kelly Blanc.”
Aquatic blues are highlighted in an paintings by Christo, who labored along with his associate Jeanne-Claude throughout their lifetime of mounting epic public artwork initiatives. A drawing from their 1989 piece, The Umbrellas, the place the duo put in over 3,000 umbrellas throughout California and Japan in 1991, is proven alongside an alligator pores and skin “Kelly Reduce” bag in electrical blue.
Whereas the Hermès model has a long-standing relationship to celebrities, a lot of who’ve impressed baggage of their very own, it goes again to the Kelly bag being named after Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco after she fell in love with a Hermès bag whereas filming Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 movie, To Catch a Thief. And naturally, the Birkin bag was designed completely for British Blow-Up star Jane Birkin.
“They have been celebrities and icons, identical to Jackie O was,” mentioned Tiroche. “That’s why I wished to point out a bit by Andy Warhol, as Jackie was muse to him, and to the world, even.”
Though Tiroche contends that mass-produced style objects usually are not thought-about one-of-one artworks, (even with mass-produced artworks by Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst in the marketplace right now), it’s a debatable argument. And he admits that the style world’s relationship with artwork is virtually intertwined, with designers always turning to the artwork world for inspiration.
“Have a look at the artist collabs as of late; Louis Vuitton historically has Takashi Murakami or Yayoi Kusama working with them, or Christian Dior and Kaws,” Tiroche added. “They’re very a lot linked.”
The Artwork of Hermès runs till December 18, 2020.