April 18, 2018
Italian fashion label Gucci is exploring the concept of originality through an upcoming exhibition curated by artist Maurizio Cattelan.
“The Artist is Present,” bowing in Shanghai on Oct. 10, will focus on the role imitation plays in creative pursuits. Teasing the collaborative project, Gucci filmed Mr. Cattelan on a visual journey through the Chinese city.
Mr. Cattelan is known for his sense of humor. For instance, he created a buzz in 2016 when he replaced a toilet in New York's Guggenheim Museum with a working version in 18-karat gold.
Along with producing satirical sculptures, he is the co-founder of magazine Toiletpaper, which frequently collaborates with brands including Kenzo and Galeries Lafayette.
Now, Mr. Cattelan is partnering with Gucci on an exhibit. According to the brand, “The show explores how originality can be reached through the act of repetition, and how originals themselves can be preserved through copies.”
Previewing this topic, Yurian Carani filmed Mr. Cattelan in Shanghai. The resulting five-minute short, shot entirely on iPhone, quickly skips between scenes and settings as diverse as stores, eateries and nightlife venues.
The full film was published on editorial video platform Nowness, appealing to the site's culturally inclined audience.
Gucci has frequently worked with a diverse roster of artists, putting them on a global stage through product collaborations and marketing efforts.
The Kering-owned label recently launched its latest collection called Gucci Hallucination, created in collaboration with Spanish artist Ignasi Monreal.
The limited-edition collection will contain only 200 copies of a T-shirt and 100 of a sweatshirt design, each individually labeled and featuring art and design from Mr. Monreal. Mr. Monreal has been behind some of the brand’s recent advertising campaigns, bringing his signature surreal style to Gucci’s brand (see story).
Similarly, Gucci's relationship with Unskilled Worker included a 40-piece capsule collection featuring the British artist's work.
Gucci’s relationship with Helen Downie, who uses the nom de plume Unskilled Worker for her art, began in 2015 when creative director Alessandro Michele found the artist on Instagram. Mr. Michele has discovered a number of artists in this way, many of which have resulted in Gucci collaborations, capsules and art projects (see story).