Following the launch of the Artycapucines collaboration last year, Louis Vuitton once again invites six international artists to reimagine the iconic Capucines bag for the 2020 sequel.
Known for her vibrant, abstract paintings that brim with details, the Rio de Janeiro-based artist conceived a new artwork specially for this project, which she meticulously brings to life on the Artycapucines with 18 different types of leather of the same thickness. Harnessing innovative marquetry techniques that required months of research and development at Louis Vuitton’s ateliers, the leathers are inlaid onto the lambskin base. The result is a kaleidoscopic variety of different textures including gold leaf, an inlaid bas-relief peace sign and the LV logo featuring enamel marquetry.
Characterised by his provocative work in a varied range of media, the Beijing- based artist allows the subject to define the choice of medium. His spin of the Artycapucines draws reference from his 2019 Venice Biennale installation, Microworld. The sculpture’s aluminium petals are reinterpreted with five types of silver-coloured leather, meticulously thermo-moulded into the bag’s exact shapes and angles. Three of these petals are attached using Louis Vuitton-engraved rivets, just like the ones used on the house’s iconic trunks.
It took a combination of the latest cutting-edge laser printing and traditional marquetry to reproduce the Californian artist’s 2017 painting, A Young Master, on this Artycapucines on leather. The portrait of the late Noah Davis, the black American artist and founder of LA’s Underground Museum, aptly encapsulates Taylor’s esteemed visual representations of his community. To match the bag’s colours and varied textures to the original artwork precisely, Louis Vuitton pulled out all the stops, employing more than 100 experiments to test different 2D and 3D printing methods.
Born in Shihezi, in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the Chinese artist based his Artycapucines on his 2018 sculpture, In Extremis No. 3. It was part of a series that had a gory inspiration – the remains of a cat run over on a busy asphalt road in Beijing in 2015. All 353 laser- cut patches featured here are made of five types of leather that are hand- and machine-embroidered, printed with seven different patterns or worked into relief. They portray the sculpture’s collage of metal components, and are meticulously assembled by Louis Vuitton’s artisans on a single panel following Zhao’s precise layout.
Evocative of his Le Kiosque des Noctambules sculpture that graces the Palais Royal Métro entrance in Paris, the French artist’s take punctuates a relaxed Saint-Tropez-ready Artycapucines with his famous beads. Here, large resin ones form the striking handle and charm of the bag, which is hand-woven from raffia in a way that showcases the knots that tie the strands together. They are left untreated to emphasise the natural and delicate range of tones. The bag is also trimmed with hand-embroidered black satin silk usually used in haute couture.
Trained as a printmaker, the Japan-born, New York-based artist made his name in the early 2000s with a visual and philosophical exploration of his own name, revisited here on an entirely leather-free Artycapucines. First, white-coloured stitches – 320,000 on the front and back, and 50,000 on the flap – are embroidered on the cotton canvas exterior based on the direction of the brushstrokes to create depth. Next, a sublimation process prints the colours – heated for deeper penetration – on the fabric and stitches, before the letters are embroidered with 36,000 bourdon stitches on the front, 40,000 on the back and 15,000 on the flap.