Marc Jacobs and Yayoi Kusama
Under Marc Jacobs’s 16-year tenure, Louis Vuitton became known for it’s iconic clothing and accessories with some of fashion houses most popular pieces born out of artist collaborations. In the summer of 2012 a collaboration with Yayoi Kusama began. For the capsule collection’s launch, custom Kusama installations filled Vuitton shop windows around the world, while the artist was also celebrated with an extraordinary retrospective at the Whitney in New York.
In 2015 The Art Newspaper pronounced Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s eccentric Infinite Obsession show was the most visited exhibition of 2014 seen by more than 2 million people. Glenn Scott Wright of the Victoria Miro gallery said at the time “Kusama is the only one of our artists who sells on every continent. She’s very rare in that she has this kind of credibility within the art world establishment, but she also has a very popular appeal.”
Her popularity and fame has not slowed down.
I first met Yayoi Kusama in 2006 when I visited her studio in Tokyo. I’d been told she was quite a special person, and it was incredibly true. She arrived to meet me in a coloured wig and a caftan-like creation of hers with all her signature spots. Her eyes never left mine, and she held my hand often as she talked to me. She kept repeating certain phrases: “We must create, we must create, it’s important that we create.” We spent a few hours together, and every time I tried to leave, she’d pull me back in. It made perfect sense with the art she creates—the intensity, the repetition. She just felt like the embodiment of what she makes.
This is a woman who’s been around for a very long time, who’s done some really radical and revolutionary things in the art world. I admire her unapologetic dedication to her vision, which still allows for plenty of growth and change. When people look back at her work decades from now, they’ll see that her idea of creation and infinity has an eternal endurance.
“In the past, artists that I’ve chosen to work with were quite spontaneous decisions but they all meant something to me, personally, they had created like a world that I could relate to, and work that I love and appreciate, so when we were approached with this I readily embraced it.
The team from Yayoi Kusama came over and they presented us with some ideas that she had been thinking of. Then we kind of brainstormed and put together a bunch of things; we created materials, all sorts of things accessories and bags, shoes, textiles and we sent them back to her and she responded with almost no exceptions in a very favourable way.
[The collection] is very dynamic and very animated and like Kusama just represents this obsession with polka dots and this round shape that has no end.
Her energy is endless and the painstaking obsession in each of her canvases and her installations that she has created you can see this world that never ends and I guess that’s what I admire about her, that’s what I love and that’s what I respond to in terms of feelings for her and for her work.
It’s a wonderful thing the way contemporary art permeates the environment and changes the environment and for many people who don’t look at art, go to galleries or aren’t aware of Kusama’s work there will be a new venue a new place to see this work and to come ot appreciate it through the eyes of Vuitton.
Image attribution Window installation created for the Louis Vuitton store on 5th Avenue in New York City, 2012, featuring a wax replica of the artist, Yayoi Kusama. Sourced from forbes.com.
Words sourced from: Time magazine top 100 people 2016 sourced from time.com; Louis Vuitton video: Marc Jacobs’ Interview Yayoi Kusama and Hasse Lemola’s Yayoi Kusama named the worlds most popular artist for Hypebeast.com.