When Longchamp decided to close its store on rue Saint-Honoré in Paris for extensive renovations, chief executive officer Jean Cassegrain knew he wanted to wrap the building in art during the lengthy construction, which is expected to last through October.
Cassegrain immediately thought of the artist for the job: Ryan McGinness, whose work often appropriates the visual cues of public signage and corporate logos.
“His work has an energy to it,” said Cassegrain, who met McGinness eight years ago when he visited the artist at his studio after seeing his exhibition at Deitch Projects. “As symbolized by the horse and rider galloping in our logo, our brand is in perpetual movement.”
The artwork, “Mindscapes,” covers two faces of Longchamp’s towhouse near the Place de la Concorde, extending from the pavement to the roof. McGinness said his idea was to fragment the facade into “windows” of brightly colored paintings with strong black borders.
“I want [the images] to feel personal to passersby,” McGinness said. “I’ve used details from a variety of my paintings, many of which refer to dreamlike images. I used fluorescents, pearlescents, varying textures and finishes to intensify their impact.”
McGinness is no stranger to fashion. He’s lent his art to Uniqlo for T-shirts and created shirts produced by agnès b. with a trompe l’oeil-splatter effect, like something a painter might wear in his studio. A sold-out collaboration with M. Patmos resulted in a capsule of a printed T-shirts, sweaters, scuba dresses and printed pashminas.
McGinness’ work has also appeared on skateboards, mugs and a label for a Hennessy V.S. limited edition bottle of cognac.
Despite his collaborations, McGinness sees a clear delineation between art and commerce. “Commerce depends on customers,” he said. “Art does not.”