5 Spectacular Examples of Life Imitating Art
From Laura Owens and Virgil Abloh to David Yurman and Frank Lloyd Wright, these pairings exemplify how art, design, and fashion converge in the most unexpected ways
A flurry of silver butterflies ornament the Farfalle large sconce by Julie Neill for Visual Comfort. Neill meticulously placed each light to create the illusion of fluttering wings. Opposite: Weighing five tons with a 50-foot width, Butterflies by Manolo Valdés delicately captures the dizzying notion of having butterflies in your head. First displayed at the New York Botanical Garden and most recently in Berkeley Square in London, the work embodies Valdés’s semifigurative style.
Abstract doodles interrupt layers of systematic grids in Untitled (2013), a painting by Laura Owens. The artist will return to her native Ohio in June with an exhibition produced in collaboration with area high school art students at the Transformer Station in Cleveland. Opposite: Virgil Abloh’s ability to seamlessly blend luxury and street style was on full display at Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer men’s collection presentation, where psychedelic sweatshirts and pastel suits invigorated Paris’s Place Dauphine.
Italian furniture brand Visionnaire introduced a regal capsule collection including the fanciful Il Pavone throne during Design Miami/ in 2019. Designer Marc Ange drew inspiration from the majestic peacock for the plush seat encircled by a halo of emerald and sapphire cushions framed in brass. Opposite: A show of Loie Hollowell’s abstract, feminist works inaugurated Pace Gallery’s new global headquarters in New York. For Postpartum Plumb Line (2019), the artist adhered foam geometric forms to a large-scale panel to mesmerizing effect.
Radial waves of diamonds and gold form the geometric beauty of David Yurman’s Stax mixed-cut chain earrings. Opposite: This iconic skylight, composed of 169 sections of glass, illuminates the rotunda of the landmark Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The institution is currently spotlighting architects Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal in “Countryside, The Future,” on view through August.
The vibrant, richly layered flora in Vik Muniz’s Repro: Brazilian Jungle, After Rugendas (2019) embodies the depth and intricacy of his oeuvre. The contemporary photographer and mixed-media artist compiled fragments of other images to create his vision of a wild kingdom. Opposite: To commemorate the 20th anniversary of one of Versace’s most famous dresses, the atelier’s spring/summer 2020 runway show blossomed with verdant florals and lush embellishments.
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2020 Spring Issue in the section called Life Imitates Art. Subscribe to the magazine.