Marc Jacobs like Stephen Sprouse..

Appropriation is a contemporary art practice that have always intrigued me. As a consequence I have always been fascinated by how Marc Jacobs  brought this practice into fashion. By reading Marc Jacobs' interview by Glenn O'Brien you can see how he appropriated art and brought it into the "superficial fashion world". 
Back in 2001...

MJ: I was looking to rent an apartment when I first got here. Charlotte Gainsbourg had just had a baby and she was sitting in the bedroom breastfeeding, and I was looking at her apartment, and, in the corner, she had a trunk, a Louis Vuitton trunk that had been painted black. But a lot of the black had come off. It was her dad's-that being Serge-and he had painted it black. And for some reason, that triggered me thinking about my favorite work of art ever, which is L.H.O.O.Q. by [Marcel] Duchamp. And I thought, This Vuitton monogram is sort of the Mona Lisa of this company.

GO: Yeah.

MJ: And what I wanted to do, in the same way Serge had done, was deface it. The same way that Duchamp had done with L.H.O.O.Q., by putting this moustache on [the Mona Lisa] and making it something hipper, a little bit anarchic, and just cooler. And by defacing something, making it new again. And so I had this idea of asking Stephen [Sprouse] to come here and do graffiti on top of it.

MJ: And I was so pleased with that particular collaboration, being such a big fan of Stephen's. I always adored him as an artist and as a fashion designer. I got to become friendly with him through the time we spent together here in the office in Paris. I just felt like it all made sense. My name isn't Louis Vuitton. This company has this legendary status. It's a part of what I romanticized about life in Paris as a kid who studied fashion. I looked up to these people who I'd never met. Without any kind of real ego on my part, I just thought, I'm going to approach the people I admire and see if they want to do something together. And that's how it all started.

By combining, the par excellence street-art,  graffiti and the par excellence luxurious LV monogram, MJ brought the art from the street to the catwalk.  MJ recontextualized them in the same way as andy Warhol did by showing Brillo Boxes at New York's Stable Gallery on April 1964. Unlike Marcel Duchamp who tended to find the beauty in the banal. Warhol and MJ found the banal as beautiful, elevating, thus, it from a spartan to a luxurious good.

MJ: I don't know the history of art, but I got over intimidation from the art world when I realized that I was allowed to feel whatever I want and like whatever I want. That's what I always laugh about with Richard [Prince]. When someone says, "Why did you do that?" and you say, "Because I liked it"-I think that's really enough. And when I think about what came before Pop art, I understand that maybe these people were spilling their guts onto canvas through use of abstract strokes and colors and techniques, but that's not really moving to me. There's something about what I see every day, and the banal-I mean, what Pop was. I can kind of worship that, and I can look at that and smile, or I can just say I like it and that's fine. That's all I really want. I don't want to work that hard, you know? I like what Pop did, and I think that we live in a world where, on every level, people like what Pop did.

Then again , next month, to show his admiration for the late designer and artist,  Marc Jacobs  is using the hit 2001 collaboration with Sprouse for a new, limited edition collection of accessories and ready-to-wear. (Jacobs, photographed by Terry Richardson is posing in the nude painted in Sprouse’s graffiti for Harper’s Bazaar’s January issue).

This comes at a time of renewed buzz about Sprouse, whose graffiti prints and Day-Glo clothes became a defining aesthetic of the early Eighties. It coincides with a retrospective — called “Rock on Mars” — at Deitch Projects’ 18 Wooster Street gallery from January 8th to February 28th, and “The Stephen Sprouse Book”, by Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha, due out from Rizzoli New York on Feb. 1.

The impetus for the new line came when Deitch approached Jacobs and Vuitton about doing something related to the retrospective. “I proposed putting together a Vuitton version of the Pop Shop, which was Keith Haring’s concept…not reissuing products that we had done with Stephen, but doing things that were similar or new”, Jacobs said.

Sprouse died in 2004, and the new tribute pieces, which hit Vuitton boutiques worldwide January  9th, pick up almost seamlessly where the 2001 collaboration left off. Jacobs took two iconic Sprouse motifs — the graffiti and the rose — and interpreted them in Day-Glo shades of pink, green and orange over the Monogram print. The motifs are featured on Vuitton’s Keepall, Speedy and Neverfull bag styles, as well as basketball sneaker boots, pumps, sunglasses, headbands and wristbands, and small leather goods like wallets and coin purses. The collection includes a mackintosh raincoat with a graffiti and monogram lining, graffiti leggings and a long-sleeve neon minidress featuring the rose design.

I tried to take what Stephen had done at Vuitton and then kind of flip it in my head, and make it Vuitton’s work for Stephen, not Stephen’s work for Vuitton”, Jacobs said. “I just felt it was a funny way to play with it, to pretend to be Sprouse for a bit, and use the work that he did, and then bring it back to the work that he did before I collaborated with him”.“For me, this monogram graffiti was the first milestone of our permanent reinvention of our history,” said Vuitton president and chief executive officer Yves Carcelle.

“It almost becomes a classic, like a Chanel jacket, or a smoking”, he said. “It’s this idea of a head-to-toe look in this brash, neon, rock ’n’ roll, edgy, street-informed style. Sprouse really best personified it”.

The thing that excited us the most is that somebody who disappeared years ago is going to be the center of life worldwide thanks to that for the next few months”, Carcelle said. “We really want to celebrate a friend”.

Coco Chanel defines the art of the designers as “l’art de capter l’air du temps”. Fashion appears to be incapable of its traditional task toward time: it seems unable to erase history as difference, unable to leave behind in the perfection of the Now. Fashion as the ephemeral is the quintessential momentum of modernity. The ancient and the modern, the eternal and the ephemeral are no longer antithetical but mutually affect each other. ( Fashion Zeitgeist: Trends and Cycles in the Fashion System)

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