Just when we thought Gucci couldn't get any cooler under Alessandro Michele's creative directorship, the brand just announced a new social media initiative, #GucciGram.
Gucci has invited artists and image-makers to use the fall collection's Gucci Blooms and Gucci Caleido prints, featuring a floral pattern and a geometric motif overlaid on the classic GG signature logo, and reinterpret them in their own way.
Everyone knows that Instagram is a caricature of real life, but Ed Fornieles (@eddfornieles) is illustrating that quite bluntly—by becoming a cartoon. In his current project, the artist has transformed himself and his friends into cartoon avatars that navigate photographs of real landscapes, creating an effect familiar to millennials who grew up watching “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and “Space Jam.” Fornieles has been using social media as a platform for his work ever since 2011’s “Dorm Daze,” a semi-scripted narrative that unfolded on Facebook over three months, with actors “performing” profiles based on American college students. When the British artist moved to Los Angeles, this line between reality and fiction was further blurred. On Instagram, Fornieles is now an anthropomorphized fox, having adventures in real-life places with pals like critic Dean Kissick (a platypus) and the artist Amalia Ulman (a cat). In his remix for #GucciGram, there’s a new lady-rabbit visiting LA landmarks like the Griffith Observatory in a sultry #GGBlooms -inspired dress. See more through link in bio. Text by @paloma_powers
Established and emerging names in the creative sphere have come up with the most inventive way to subvert those prints, incorporating the work of famous painters, using cartoon characters, or photoshopped memes
The Most Famous Artist (@themostfamousartist) is actually a group of several, who pool their brilliance to work together on odd jobs of appropriation, upcycling, and zeitgeist-creation. The work they sell directly under The Most Famous Artist name repurposes found or foraged paintings, taking the work of another, often forgettable nobody artist and overpainting it. The originals are often genre paintings, or works trapped in 19th century ideas of composition and color. The Most Famous Artist updates these period pieces with corporate as well as couture logos, or abstract, much more contemporary swathes of color, which frequently spill beyond the canvas and onto the frame. This treatment of painting itself as a kind of readymade that can be augmented with a signature style is very much in line with the collective’s business-forward, high-visibility, high-volume sensibility. On Instagram, The Most Famous Artist’s feed is a hodgepodge of its many members’ wide-ranging interests. The feed pulls in the work of other unquestionably famous artists, creating a kind of extended riff on artistic celebrity itself. It is also an interrogation of what makes famous art famous. But where their paintings often trade in the language of logos, their Instagrams cite contemporary art styles like Damien Hirst’s dots, or Banksy tags, halftone blips like partial views of a Roy Lichtenstein or a Barbara Kruger. For #GucciGram, The Most Famous Artist member Matty Mo took the iconic Grant Wood painting, “American Gothic,” and reworked the simple colonial-print fabric the woman wears so it looks like her top was made from a bolt of #GGBlooms fabric. The man is wrapped in a blown-up version of #GGCaleido, enlarging the geometric pattern so it seems like scrim pulled over his drab coat. Their doctored, dressed-up image is then shown from several different vantages and places, a gleeful confusion of era that puts now in touch with then. Text by @epsteinian
While some contributors have a degree of recognition, such as Kalen Hollomon (exhibited at Colette in Paris), Noah Kalina (whose new book, Cabin Porn, is a New York Times bestseller), and Amalia Ulman (a Frieze London artist), others are still relatively unknown, like Chris Rellas (@CopyLab), a 19-year-old American student who boasts nearly 24,000 followers on Instagram.
Paris-based Chris Rellas’s visual mashups of fashion and fine art have amassed his @copylab feed an enormous following and earned him the attention of fashion media. In @copylab’s world, a 19th-century peasant is rebranded as a contemporary fashionista by means of piercings. Or Frida Kahlo, reigning queen of the art historical self-portrait, appears to be as at home styled in playful sunglasses as in her iconic flower crown and macabre necklace of thorns. Delivered with a sense of humor as sly as Mona Lisa’s smirk, @copylab’s images nod to the historical context of the original work while freely celebrating contemporary high fashion and other touchstones of the cultural and political moment. When Rellas drapes Gucci’s Reversible #GGBlooms Tote over the shoulder of a woman in a Renaissance dress locked in full embrace with her lover, the scene is instantly transported to present day. The image, originally painted by Hayez, who is the subject of an upcoming exhibition in Milan featuring the painting, bears so many traits common to Instagram’s usual suspects that you would be forgiven for thinking that one of your IRL friends had recently acquired a gorgeous new bag—and a boy—while scrolling through your feed at a quick clip. #GucciGram Text by @allisonkgibson
Gucci has also created a micro-site to house all the artwork at Gucci.com/guccigram. It features an introduction by Brooklyn-based culture writer Kyle Chayka, and allows responses and comments from users. The artwork will also be featured on Gucci social media channels.
\Will you contribute?