Left: The dazzling cabochon ruby and diamond Wrapped Heart brooch isl one of Verdura’s signatures. Right: Equally mesmerizing in mirror-polished stainless steel, Jeff Koons’s monumental sculpture Hanging Heart (Red/Gold) (1994–2006) seems to float.
Photo: Left: Courtesy of Verdura. Right: Courtesy of the Artist

4 Uncanny Examples of Life Imitating Art

These unexpected moments of visual synchronicity feature pieces by Jeff Koons and Ai Weiwei
Left: The dazzling cabochon ruby and diamond Wrapped Heart brooch was originally commissioned by actor Tyrone Power as a Christmas gift for his wife, French actress Annabella; 78 years later the romantic design, enhanced with 18K gold and platinum, is still one of Verdura’s signatures. Right: Equally mesmerizing in mirror-polished stainless steel, Jeff Koons’s monumental sculpture Hanging Heart (Red/Gold) (1994–2006) seemed to float weightlessly in Venice’s Palazzo Grassi despite measuring over nine feet tall and 3,500 pounds. Photo: Left: Courtesy of Verdura. Right: Courtesy of the Artist
Left: For Givenchy’s fall/winter 2019 show, artistic director Clare Waight Keller paraded a multitude of dramatic florals down the runway, including this floor-length pleated satin dress with explosive clusters of vivid blooms. Right: Abstract Expressionist Sam Francis often conjured his dynamic paintings by blending obscure colors and layering different types of paint. His Bright Web, 1973, a lyrical mix of highly saturated acrylics, is grounded in experimentation and controlled accidents. Photo: Left: Courtesy of Givenchy. Right: Courtesy of Sam Francis Foundation, California
Left: Pear-shaped minaudières become wearable sculptures in dappled shades of red, yellow, and violet in Lanvin’s fall/winter 2019 collection. Right: Transforming the traditional still life into a fantastical feast, Nicolas Party uses unexpected hues and biomorphic shapes to bring attention to the often-overlooked importance of everyday objects, as in Still Life (2016). The Swiss born artist’s “Pastel” exhibition is mounted at New York’s Flag Art Foundation through February 15, 2020. Photo: Left: Courtesy of Lanvin. Right: Hv Studio, Brussels, Courtesy of the Artist And Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
Left: Light dances off the delicate handcrafted porcelain petals of Lladró’s pendant, part of the Nightbloom collection by Dutch design studio Marcel Wanders. Right: Ai Weiwei utilizes items such as bicycles and sunflower seeds to portray universal symbols of humanity in his impactful installations, many of which will be on view at the Kemper Art Museum’s “Ai Weiwei: Bare Life” exhibition until January 5, 2020. For his 2014 work Blossom, the contemporary artist and activist looked to make a statement about freedom by blanketing the fixtures in Alcatraz’s old medical wing with thousands of delicate ceramic flowers. Photo: Left: Courtesy of Marcel Wanders. Right: Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2019 Winter Issue in the section called Life Imitates Art. Subscribe to the magazine.

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