As I was leafing through this weeks “How to spend it” – (national supplement of the year apparently. The press is not what it was) – itself an exercise so intellectually disengaging it lasts barely the full duration of a morning double espresso, I came across the latest advertisement from international purveyors of trash, Louis Vuitton, to that unremittingly talentless and vacuous part of society that is also trash (Euro-trash/ Trumpo-Trash/ Russo-Trash, the list goes on ad nauseam. Really.)
Poor Leonardo must be spinning in his grave. Let’s take it apart…
Firstly, Louis Vuitton’s hand bags are, hilariously, made from their “revolutionary” plastic would be leather. It’s cropped detail of the Leonardo’s most famous image, La Gioconda, or the Mona Lisa, is straight off the tourist tat stand outside the Louvre. It might as easily be a shopping bag or a calendar. Perhaps the well-heeled ladies who would want one of these are exposing their welled honed knowledge of culture. I’ll give them this, it’s iconoclastic, but not in a good way.
Lest her, or his, why not, this is 2017, cultural reference be lost on their peers, the bag is mercifully stamped with the famous LV, and not so famous JK,. It’s also boldly marked Da Vinci, just in case you didn’t get the reference. It is obviously aimed at feisty cultural worriorettes. The kind to whom the Catholic Church had to persuade, The da Vinci Code was, er, just a novel.
Trash me once I’ll laugh; trash me twice and you’re boring
Jeff Koons, Ilona on Top (Rosa Background).
Whitney Museum of American Ar
And then there is Koon’s contribution. Beyond the hilarious sculpture of his erstwhile porn-star, Italian parliamentarian wife, I cannot think of one work from Koons that goes anywhere beyond the culturally simple, endemic, industrial production that his team of workers churn out at and for, above all for, great expense in his “studio”. It’s talentless, unoriginal and boring. So his stupid little rabbit motif, he can boil it.
Pop Art has some truly great images in its pantheon, testimony to the confused lines of culture, art and commerce in the twentieth century. Yes, simple, endemic and industrial are all part of the pop-art myth, but his is just rubbish. This is something else, this is so crass, so bombastic it is desperate. It makes a mockery of Louis Vuitton’s own crusade against shoddy, vulgar (sic) forgeries of its own.
If Leonardo doen not swing, you can try Rubens, Fragonard or inevitably, Van Gogh. I don’t think he would have cut off his ear, he would have cut his throat. No doubt the rights for Picasso ate too much into the margins.
Poor Lisa Gherardini even gets a wanton piercing through her eye brow and throat (with not even a thought to placement of symetry).
Of course, it could be ironic. But I don’t believe the Louis Vuittonistas of this dreary modern world really get irony. And frankly, at 2400 euros a bag, the irony is definitely lost on me.