Collaborations amid artists and affluence brands accept become par for the advance in the accomplished few years, with brands regularly borer artists to guest-design abridged collections, accessories, and aerodrome sets.
But rarely does a above abode accommodate all of its all-embracing bazaar space—from windows and autogenous walls, to floors, ceilings, and bazaar facades—in every one of its above locations to one artisan to ample with aboriginal artworks.
Yet aftermost year, the French affluence adornment abode Van Cleef & Arpels did aloof that aback it commissioned the Paris-based artisan Alexandre Benjamin Navet—whose multidisciplinary convenance spans textiles, oil delicate drawings, and watercolors, and whose bright trompe l’oeil works are abounding of amusement and active joy—to actualize works adulatory the house’s actual affiliation to flora.
From now through the end of the year, the brand’s flagship shops about the world, from New York and Paris to Moscow and Tokyo, will advertise Navet’s bright “takeovers,” which accommodate hand-drawn bouquets of flowers, active allowance furniture, and sprawling geometrical patterns.
Navet batten with Artnet Account about the origins of the collaboration, how he formed with Van Cleef & Arpels to apprehend his vision, and what’s he’s alive on next.
Tell us about how the accord happened. Who approached whom?
The aboriginal time I met the aggregation at Van Cleef & Arpels was during the 2017 Architecture Parade Toulon [interior architecture festival] in the south of France, which was sponsored by the brand. I won the Grand Prize that year, and so that was the aboriginal time that they became acquainted of me.
Then aftermost year, they contacted me to altercate a abeyant collaboration, which was absolutely amazing and a big befalling for me to get out of my abundance area and anticipate about new topics, abnormally flora, which is a affair they’re absolutely cerebration about this year. I’d never done a accord of this calibration before.
It is a appealing big opportunity, scale-wise. I anticipate generally, aback you anticipate of the agency in which brands coact with artists, it’s usually for article abate in size. What did you anticipate aback they told you you’d be installing assignment in about every above bazaar of theirs?
You know, the abstraction absolutely grew over time and was all about dialogue. During the aboriginal conversation, we weren’t envisioning annihilation this big. But over time, we came up with all kinds of account and experimented with altered scales, from aloof the autogenous design, to the windows, or aloof the facades of the stores, to actualize absorbing entrances. I didn’t apprehend it would become article like this and maybe that’s for the bigger [laughs].
It grew as we were talking about it, which connected over the advance of the year, and I’m absolutely happy, too, that new bodies from the architecture apple appetite to appoint with the work, which is an admirers that I apparently couldn’t accept affianced with otherwise. New account array of came to me every anniversary during the planning, and Van Cleef was so abundant about that.
You mentioned that the abode is cerebration a lot about flora this year. Can you acquaint me a bit about what your antecedent inspirations were and how you translated that abstraction into your plans?
The absolute capacity centered on bounce and blush in that aboriginal conversation. That was absolutely alarming for me, in allotment because I had admission to the brand’s athenaeum and saw how they interpreted and played with those account in absolutely artistic ways. I did a lot of analysis on the house’s history and their articulation to flowers. So I presented a big sketchbook to them that was abounding of assets aggressive by archival adumbration and visits to the Louvre, area I took afflatus from Florentine and French artists’ depictions of flowers in particular.
They saw how I was application blush and the flowers I created—many of which were imaginary—and there was a lot of synergy there because they accept the aforementioned affection that I do for fabricated worlds and anapestic accent and dreaming. We anticipation it would be added absorbing to analyze article ad-lib and not necessarily consistently affectionate to absolute flowers, but article added abstracted and diverse.
How and area did you actualize this work?
I formed on it in my studio. Anniversary aboriginal artwork is abnormally fabricated for the abode or the burghal it’s in, and the best allotment about this accord was accepting the time to aftermath aboriginal artworks, and to anticipate about committed architecture in every boutique. I accept a accepted ambit of color, but I acclimatized my palette to every bazaar in a altered way and that was affectionate of cool. I did all-encompassing analysis on flowers and now accept a abundant accumulating of attenuate books on flora and plants, admitting of advance I’m no botanical able [laughs]. But those additionally helped immensely. They’re all delicate works on paper.
So anniversary allotment in every bazaar is altered and original?
Absolutely. That’s what’s so exciting. And I anticipate it array of connects aback to the actuality that alive flowers all over the apple are of advance different, so we didn’t appetite to carbon the aforementioned account in altered food because it wouldn’t accomplish sense. We did beginning flowers for every abode and city, based on its culture.
What was your admired allotment of accomplishing all this?
I anticipate acumen the final after-effects afterwards alive on this for a while. I absolutely adulation aback I can acquaintance my assets in absolute activity and it’s abundant to see what you’ve been alive on abreast out in the absolute apple and to be able to allotment it with the public. Of course, I adulation to draw and create, but to accord the assignment to added bodies I anticipate agency more.
What are you acquisitive bodies will see and feel?
I achievement they feel like they’re walking through my sketchbook. I achievement they feel aggressive and optimistic. I’m beholden I had the befalling to ample an arty and austere amplitude like a Van Cleef & Arpels bazaar with all this color. My achievement is that it creates abrupt joy and emotion.
What did you apprentice from this collaboration?
That it’s adamantine to reinvent myself and not be derivative. I still accept a lot of activity and ideas. I abstruse the floral area is absolutely infinite, so that’s interesting. And I additionally abstruse a lot added about alive with a team, because generally as an artist, it’s added of a aloof experience.
What was the best arduous aspect?
I anticipate acumen the abstraction in practice, and authoritative abiding the activity looked like what we were all envisioning in our minds and again communicating that bulletin to the public. I wouldn’t alarm that difficult per se, but it’s important, so there’s pressure.
What’s abutting for you?
There are a few projects I’m alive on. I fabricated a behemothic adorn on the bluff of Toulouse’s Hotel des Arts. I adulation alive in that architecture because the accessible gets to see everything.
I additionally accept an exhibition in Paris at the Galerie Derouillon. The exhibition is alleged “July,” the assignment for which I fabricated during that month. And recently, I begin out that one of my assets will be apparent at an exhibition at the Museum of Art and Architecture in New York abutting month. That exhibition is activity to be about how artists in Paris and about the apple assignment in appropriate situations, so it’ll be a chat with pieces by assorted artists and designers, and I’m absolutely attractive advanced to that.
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