from donald drawbertson to richard prince, the art of the logo
In honour of the Faking It: Originals, Copies and Counterfeits exhibition at New York's FIT, here are five artists who bend the boundaries and create fantastic artworks using famous fashion logos.
Fashion logos have appeared in art throughout history, from city street murals, to paintings and collages. Faking It: Originals, Copies and Counterfeits, a new exhibition that opened at The Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York on Dec. 2nd celebrates and investigates the long history of fashion counterfeits in all their glory. The show features everything from original Chanel suits of the 1960s contrasted with their respective knock-offs, to early techniques in protecting fashion from copyists — such as the Madeleine Vionnet's use of her thumbprint on her labels in the 20s.
In 2009, Richard Prince wrapped the Hong Kong Art Museum in fabric consisting of colourful replicas of pulp fiction book covers, overlaid with the classic Louis Vuitton monogram. Taking inspiration from Prince's After Dark series, each book cover image illustrates a story from a different city around the world After Dark while every other image represents Prince's interpretation of Hong Kong After Dark. The collaboration was created in conjunction with Louis Vuitton, and heralded an entire exhibition full of paintings, video installations and photographs within the museum, titled Louis Vuitton: A Passion for Creation. Prince previously collaborated with the brand to create a series of printed and paint splattered bags for Louis Vuitton's spring/summer 08 collection.
Donald Drawbertson works in Creative Development at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and is one of the original founders of MAC cosmetics, but he's now known as a phenomenal artist who creates drawings, paintings, and collages using logos from Comme des Garcons, Chanel and more. He was last year's CFDA Instagrammer of the year and now has over 100,000 followers. Drawbertson transforms Whole Foods paper bags into colorful works of art that mimic the classic CDG Play heart and incorporates the Hermes logo on paper bags with a background of stripes and polkadots. He has a knack for recycling and turns cereal boxes into Coco Chanel branded snacks, and once turned a trashcan into a Louis Vuitton luggage set.
The ultra-mysterious street artist Zevs has been tagging the streets with what looks like bleeding fashion logos for almost 15 years. In 2009, his first show, titled Liquidated Logos at Hong Kong gallery Art Statements was personally kickstarted by Zevs himself — he tagged a huge, black dripping Chanel logo on the wall above the window of a Giorgio Armani store — which ultimately led to his arrest. Aside from the classic Chanel logo, Zevs has also tagged walls with logos from Louis Vuitton.
Antonio Brasko created his spray can project as a way to bridge street culture, art and fashion. Each spray can represents a brand, whether through colour, texture, logo, or typography. The Chanel spray can is classic black and white, whereas the Hermes can is white and orange. The Tiffany's can is, of course, a classic shade of Tiffany blue, printed with the dainty white font by which we know the brand best, and the Dr. Martens spray can is everything we'd expect from the ultimate purveyor of cool kicks.
Swiss artist Comenius Roethlisberger fills clear resin boxes with cocaine — yes, real cocaine! — mixed with sugar to spell out some of the biggest names in luxury fashion. From Prada, to Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, to Dior and Dolce & Gabbana, Roethlisberger offers fashionistas a designer fix by perfectly recreating designer brands' typography and presenting the clear boxes alongside each other. In 2008, Colette exhibited the collection of cocaine fashion logos under the title Dearest Constellation, Sweetest Invitation.
Text Kristen Bateman