Daniel Arsham: From the Future

When I think of art made from stone, I think of old relics and timeless pieces carved by the great artists that came before us. Daniel Arsham brings a new, modern definition and viewpoint to this concept. Arsham has an incredible ability to create minimalistic, breathtaking pieces of art, whether that be pieces in collaboration with Dior, replicating iconic characters or cultural objects, or creating art exhibits that allow the viewer to immerse themselves into his interests of art and architecture.  

Arsham began his collaboration with Dior’s Kim Jones when he created monolithic letter sculptures to be scattered down the runway spelling out the word ‘Dior’ for the Spring 2020 men’s show. The monolithic letters were consistent with Arsham’s signature style, using both stone and crystals and then carving them out to make them look as if they were worn and weathered. In addition to his pieces on the runway, Arsham helped to design many of the items in the collection that evoke his style of art. Another notable series Arsham has executed is the Future Relics series. In this series, Arsham takes future relics, which are familiar and common objects that are obsolete in the future world, and puts his signature stone carving to work. He highlights the object as a basic entity, while still bringing out the important features and aspects of the object at hand.

Most recently, Arsham was inspired by Pokemon to not only curate some of the characters and cards in sculpture form, but also collaborated with Uniqlo to bring his sculptures to limited edition pieces of apparel. Although Pokemon is the latest cultural asset that he has turned into his signature future relic, Arsham has previously made an NBA bronzed basketball, a Vogue magazine cover from a block of stone, and a life size sports car to name a few items. As part of his ongoing immersion into the modern art world, select pieces from Arshams collections will be auctioned off at Christies in their first single-artist online auction. For those interested, bidding will begin on June 19th, 2020, and will include pieces from his Pokemon, Dior, and Future Relics series’s. 

Throughout his career thus far, Arsham has shown that it is important to turn our passions and creativity into objects that celebrate and preserve our culture. He has defined pop modern art and extended it into all aspects of our lives through entertainment, fashion, and live experiences. We at Cultoure look forward to seeing the art that Arsham continues to curate, and how he will continue to pave the way for other modern artists to follow. 

Kaws’s Uniqlo Takeover

Brian Donnelly, more well known as Kaws, is the genius behind the Companion and BFF. Both characters are the faces of the Kaws brand. They have been most commonly produced as figurines in varying colors, sizes, and designs. 

Starting in 2016, Kaws began his collaboration with Fast Clothing giant, Uniqlo. Throughout the years, he has not only done collaborations with Uniqlo, but has brought in Peanuts and Sesame Street as well. These pieces did not contain classic Kaws characters, but included the signature X’s in the eyes. 

The final collaboration between Kaws and Uniqlo dropped at the beginning of June in China, and utter mayhem followed. Shoppers began by sprinting towards the products which then led to violent shoving, tug of war antics to retrieve their desired merchandise, and the removal of clothing from mannequins. The collaboration included an array of t-shirts with the companion and/or the BFF in numerous colors and canvas tote bags emblazoned with similar images. 

The Black Friday like behavior does not come as a surprise due to Kaws’s growing popularity around the world. This is especially relevant due to shoppers possibly not being able to get their hands on Kaws x Uniqlo collaborations ever again. Kaws’s success partnered with the growing and affordable nature of Uniqlo has allowed for the collaborations to not only thrive, but constantly sell out throughout the last three years. 

This collaboration serves as one of numerous examples of effective partnerships that bring together art, fashion, and culture. Collaborations have consistently drawn in masses of individuals, and continue to become more sought after. 

Everything Virgil Abloh

Pop culture icon, Virgil Abloh, has yet again amazed the masses. Although thriving with his brand Off-White and as the menswear designer for Louis Vuitton, Abloh couldn’t stop there. His most recent endeavor has been curating his exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and opening the Louis Vuitton Chicago Residency. 

The exhibition, “Figures of Speech”, aims to show how Abloh is constantly redefining fashion, art, and design. The exhibition includes everything from his Nike x Off-White sneakers to sayings with his signature quotation marks to unconventional paintings and sculptures that include his pieces from various collaborations. He explains how “this 20-year survey shows how I am constantly looking for a way to transform myself from consumer to producer, navigating a path between ‘tourist’ and ‘purist’, between the literal and the figurative.” Although working with various mediums and collaborating with different kinds of brands, Abloh has begun to bring together streetwear and high fashion.

My favorite piece from the collection is the images of the three year old shot for Louis Vuitton menswear spring/summer 19 collection. The images of the boy with the vibrant duffle bags stand in stark contrast to the all black room, allowing them to stand out and immediately catch your attention.

The Louis Vuitton Chicago Residency surfaced in direct correlation with the exhibition opening. The pop-up store was inspired by Abloh’s all orange low top Louis Vuitton sneakers that are rumored to drop with the coming season’s collection. Everything in the store is consequently neon orange. The store not only highlights pieces from the fall collection, but doubles as an art installation. Unique, stylish male mannequins are a staggering two stories tall. One can not only admire the art installations but can shop orange accessories that are being sold exclusively in the Chicago pop-up. 

Chicago has become a global fashion destination through the opening of the exhibition and the Louis Vuitton Residency. Both locations are a prime example of how fashion and art are continuing to intertwine, and affirms the fact that Virgil Abloh is at the forefront of this continuing movement. 

In Between The Dots

Photo: Vegard Kleven

Most recognized for her infinity rooms and obsession with dots, Yayoi Kusama has provided society with a new perspective on art and culture. 

Yayoi did not have the easiest of childhoods. Growing up, she lived in an unstable, unhappy home in Matsumoto, Japan, and coped with her stress through painting. She additionally suffered from frequent hallucinations and realizations of the things around her. These experiences influenced her artwork and have become her own unique expressions of how she sees the world around her. 

One of her most recognizable pieces is her pumpkin sculptures. At the age of eleven, Yayoi hallucinated while picking up a pumpkin and heard it speaking to her. She proceeded to paint this hallucination and what it made her feel, and it has become a pivotal piece and moment in her career. Most recently, her status skyrocketed through the popularity of her artwork on Instagram. This came about through thousands of people photographing and tagging themselves (#InfiniteKusama) in Yayoi’s infinity rooms which are made up of mirrors and objects. Visitors could enter the rooms, take pictures from every angle, and become tantalized by the experience.

At the age of eighty-nine, Yayoi has become a phenomenon in the art world with the majority of her hallucination pieces becoming part of the permanent collections of museums around the world.

Through Yayoi’s work, you come to the realization that she enjoys immersing visitors into a playful experience that represents her personal hallucinations and brings a deeper meaning into her entire world.