virgil abloh has made a light up mona lisa that will charge your phone

Broke: queueing to see a Da Vinci at the Louvre. Woke: charging your iPhone 11 with one instead.

by Douglas Greenwood
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Oct 3 2019, 1:39pm

Virgil Abloh's been doing a fair bit recently, hasn’t he? Heading up Off-White, performing packed out DJ sets internationally, designing Louis Vuitton’s highly coveted menswear collection. It’s no surprise he’s planning on taking a backseat for a bit to recover, but before he bounces, he’s finally finished one more project: a collection of homeware for everybody’s favourite Scandinavian meatball-slash-flatpack furniture makers, IKEA.

We’ve been drip-fed previews of the IKEA collection for the best part of 12 months, but have been kept in the dark as to when it would finally hit the shelves of those labyrinthine stores. Well, wait no more! Virgil’s collection, titled MARKERAD (that’s “marked” in Swedish), will finally be arriving on November 1st.

On top of the pieces we’ve been introduced to already -- wall clocks emblazoned with the phrase “TEMPORARY” and astroturf-rugs -- Virgil has added some new bits into the mix. There’s some chic armchairs, Virgil-approved toolkits and, for those of us who are flat pack furniture-phobic, a table that can be assembled without a single screw or hammer.

But our favourite piece, without doubt, is the barmy lightbox version of Leonardo Da Vinci’s classique Mona Lisa, blown up to twice its original size and kitted out with a USB port, so you can charge your phone with a 16th century masterpiece – all for less than £100. Virgil has long been obsessed with that painting, using it as the basis for tees and hoodies in past Off-White collections too.

“I look forward to [seeing] how these everyday objects will enter people’s homes and hopefully add an emotional value to them,” he said in a statement released alongside photos of the new collection. “... In the same way you might hang a piece of art work on your wall, art can bleed into objects like a chair, table or rug. That was my initial problem to solve when creating this collection together with IKEA.”

Don’t know about you, but we’re planning on binning all of our current wall chargers and are refusing to get our juice from anything other than renaissance paintings in the future. It’s what Da Vinci would have wanted.

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This article originally appeared on i-D UK.