L'ATLAS Designs Logo for FENTY, New Fashion Label from Rihanna and LVMH

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PARIS, France — After months of hype, LVMH and Rihanna’s fashion venture is finally materialising. The superstar, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, is set to present her first collection for the new label, which will be branded Fenty, later this month in Paris. The offering will span ready-to-wear and accessories, including shoes, sunglasses and jewellery. Rihanna herself will shoot some of the visual assets to accompany the launch of the label, BoF has learned.

“Designing a line like this with LVMH is an incredibly special moment for us. Mr Arnault has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits," said Rihanna, in a statement, referring to LVMH Chairman and Chief Executive Bernard Arnault. "I couldn’t imagine a better partner both creatively and business-wise, and I’m ready for the world to see what we have built together."

Rihanna's Fenty Beauty line, launched in partnership with LVMH beauty incubator Kendo, generated €500 million in its first full year in operation, underscoring the power of the Barbadian singer.

Fenty is the first fashion brand launched from scratch by LVMH since Christian Lacroix was founded in 1987. Rihanna is the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH and the first woman of colour at the top of an LVMH maison.

“Everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real CEO and a terrific leader. She naturally finds her full place within LVMH," said Arnault. "To support Rihanna to start up the Fenty Maison, we have built a talented and multicultural team supported by the group resources. I am proud that LVMH is leading this venture and wish it will be a great success."

As first reported by BoF, Rihanna is a 49.99 percent shareholder in Project Loud France, the official name of the company that owns the new label, via her company Denim UK Holdings. (Her attorney Ed Shapiro and Jay Brown, chief executive of her music label Roc Nation, are the directors of Denim UK Holdings.)

Rihanna has committed nearly €30 million of “in-kind” contributions to the venture — meaning she’s offering up €30 million worth of her time, her name and what she represents — while LVMH has put up €30 million in cash.

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Fenty’s head office is located in the building occupied by the LVMH Fashion Group, which is comprised of the conglomerate’s smaller fashion labels, including Celine, Givenchy and Loewe, and led by Sidney Toledano.

However, the label will be supported by LVMH veterans including longtime Louis Vuitton executive Véronique Gebel, who will report to Project Loud’s President and LVMH’s Chief Strategy Officer Jean-Baptiste Voisin.

While Fenty may be a departure from LVMH's typical playbook, which is rooted in reviving heritage brands, Rihanna’s track record with the company is a clear indicator that her global influence, driven, in part, by her message of diversity and inclusion, may be worth doubling down on.

With more than 70 million followers on Instagram, the entertainer has managed to rewrite at least some of the rules of the beauty industry by making 40 shades of foundation the minimum requirement. She has also shifted the conversation in lingerie with the launch of Savage x Fenty, a size-inclusive line produced in partnership with El Segundo, Calif.-based TechStyle Fashion Group, the company behind Kate Hudson’s Fabletics activewear label. (Her collection with Puma, at the time owned by rival luxury group Kering, ended in the Spring of 2018.)

“[LVMH] has one of the best platforms in the world in terms of design, marketing, distribution, supply chain,” luxury analyst Mario Ortelli told BoF in February. “That’s why they’ll make the bet. Whether it succeeds will depend on execution.”

Jeff Koons' 'Rabbit' Fetches $91 Million, Auction Record For Work By A Living Artist

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A 3-foot-tall silver bunny just set an art world record. Rabbit, by the playful and controversial artist Jeff Koons, sold for more than $91 million at Christie's Auction House — the most for work by a living artist at auction.

Robert Mnuchin, an art dealer and the father of the Treasury secretary, had the winning bid on behalf of a client

The stainless steel sculpture is a faceless space bunny, a balloon that's not a balloon. The piece was one of 11 works that were offered from the collection of magazine publisher S.I. Newhouse, the longtime chairman of Condé Nast who died in 2017

"The work is considered the holy grail of Koons works among certain collecting circles, and the bunny's allure was burnished by the fact that Newhouse was its longtime owner," Artnet writes. "It also received an extraordinary pre-sale display at Christie's with a custom-built room that perched the rabbit on a pedestal surrounded by lighting mimicking a James Turrell installation."

In its lot essay, Christie's described Rabbit as melding "a Minimalist sheen with a naïve sense of play":

"It is crisp and cool in its appearance, yet taps into the visual language of childhood, of all that is pure and innocent. Its lack of facial features renders it wholly inscrutable, but the forms themselves evoke fun and frivolity, an effect heightened by the crimps and dimples that have been translated into the stainless steel from which it has been made. ... The steel surface of the titular bunny initially appears smooth and balloon-like, the forms reduced to some abstract, Platonic ideal."

The sculpture was cast in 1986 in an edition of just three, plus an artist's proof. The one sold Wednesday was the last one in private hands, with the others in the collections of the Broad Art Foundation in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the National Museum of Qatar.

The sculpture has become something of a cultural icon. Case in point: Rabbit was turned back into a balloon to float above Manhattan in the 2007 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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With the sale, Koons retakes the mantle of most expensive living artist. He had lost it the title to David Hockney, whose 1972 painting Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) sold at Christie's last year for $90.3 million. Previously, Koons held the distinction when his orange Balloon Dog sold for $58.4 million in 2013.

$14.7 M. KAWS Painting Smashes Auction Record in Hong Kong

The auction world’s exclusive eight-figure club has a new member.

On Monday night at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, a painting by the artist KAWS (aka the New Jersey–born Brian Donnelly) sold for a staggering 115.9 million HKD, or about $14.7 million in U.S. dollars, a new auction record for the artist. The result came at Sotheby’s “NIGOLDENEYE® Vol. 1” sale, with The Kaws Album (2005) soaring past its estimate of 6,000,000—8,000,000 HKD ($760,000–$1 million) to that lofty finish.

The record-shattering piece, which is a riff on the cover art for the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club (1967), easily eclipsed KAWS’s previous record of $2.7 million, which was set last November in New York at Phillips in its 20th-century evening sale by Untitled (Fatal Group), 2004, a work that presents the artist’s take on the classic Fat Albert cartoon.

In this sale, Sotheby’s was offering pieces from the collection of the streetwear impresario Nigo, who styles his name with the registered trademark (as seen in the name of the auction). It grossed a total of nearly $220 million HKD, or $28 million, across 33 lots, meaning that record-setting painting accounted for about half of the haul.

Aside from collecting, Nigo is the creator of the streetwear line A Bathing Ape and co-founder of the clothing label Billionaire Boys Club with the musician Pharrell, and the pieces he was selling displayed a vigorous cross-pollination between art and streetwear: five of the lots were sneakers, four of which were BAPE in collaboration with KAWS. Two lots of two pairs of shoes went for 125,000 HKD, or $15,900, which comes out to about $7,950 a pair (or $3,975 per shoe).

The sale was almost entirely comprised of work by KAWS. Other top lots from the auction were three riffs on The Simpsons by the artist, all from 2003: Untitled (Kimpsons), which sold for 21.2 million HKD, or $2.7 million; Untitled (Kimpsons #3), for $20.5 million HKD ($2.6 million), and Kimpsons Series, for $7.4 million HKD ($940,000).

KAWS has had quite a time in Hong Kong over the past week, as the Art Basel fair ran in the city. On March 25, the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Foundation opened a survey exhibition, “Along The Way,” organized by the storied Italian curator Germano Celant, and for a short time, a giant inflatable of his character “Companion” was floating in Victoria Harbor before it was taken down two days early due to weather conditions.

BY Annie Armstrong

© 2019 ARTNEWS MEDIA, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ARTNEWS® IS REGISTERED IN THE U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE.

10 things to know about KAWS

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The artist is taking the art world by storm — his giant inflatables have graced a lake in Seoul and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, his characters feature on T-shirts, and his paintings sell for seven-figure sums at auction

1 KAWS is not his real name

Brian Donnelly (b. 1974) studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Before he achieved success as an artist he worked as a background painter on animated series such as Disney’s 101 Dalmations, and cult shows Daria  and Doug

2 He started out as a graffiti artist

From an early age Donnelly was known for marking buildings in New Jersey and Manhattan with ‘KAWS’, a tag he chose because he liked the way the letters looked together. He soon moved on from this simple tag, however, and developed a unique style that involved adding cartoon-like figures to bus-shelter advertisements.

Later, he would replicate these early works of ‘subvertising’ in a series of screenprint lithographs. These included a mock Calvin Klein ad, featuring supermodel Christy Turlington being embraced by a green figure.

From an early age Donnelly was known for marking buildings in New Jersey and Manhattan with ‘KAWS’, a tag he chose because he liked the way the letters looked together. He soon moved on from this simple tag, however, and developed a unique style that involved adding cartoon-like figures to bus-shelter advertisements.

Later, he would replicate these early works of ‘subvertising’ in a series of screenprint lithographs. These included a mock Calvin Klein ad, featuring supermodel Christy Turlington being embraced by a green figure.

His origins in graffiti brought his work to a diverse audience, many of whom had nothing to do with the art world. Unlike most artists, KAWS did not start out with a gallery; he was fully aware of the benefits of showing his work in the street and mass-producing pieces in order to build a following. This following became so big that it attracted the attention of collectors and critics.

Speaking of his early days as a graffiti artist, Donnelly said, ‘When I was doing graffiti, my whole thought was, “I just want to exist.” I want to exist with this visual language in the world… It meant nothing to me to make paintings if I wasn’t reaching people.’

3 KAWS made his name with toys

In 1999 KAWS visited Japan after being approached by Bounty Hunter, the cult toy and streetwear brand. He would go on to create his first toy, ‘COMPANION’.

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Produced in an edition of 500, the toys sold out almost immediately, and COMPANION became a recurring figure in KAWS’ work.

4 He’s having a moment

In March 2019, a 121-foot-long inflatable version of KAWS’ COMPANION  is set to be installed in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour during Art Basel. Anchored by a 40-ton weight, versions of the piece — dubbed KAWS: HOLIDAY — were previously on view in Seoul and Taipei, and mark the latest step in the artist’s rise to fame over recent years.

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Although KAWS was successful in the 2000s, the 2019 Artnet Intelligence Report reports that in 2017 his average sale price almost doubled, from $42,272 to $82,063. In November 2018, five KAWS pieces sold for more than $1 million, and across the year his work realised over $33.8 million at auction.

5 He’s big on Instagram

KAWS’ success on social media has been a big factor in his surge to the forefront of the contemporary art world. At the time of writing, more than 900,000 posts bearing the hashtag #kaws had been posted on Instagram, compared to 300,000 for Jeff Koons and 192,000 for Damien Hirst. Specialists have speculated that this could partly be down to the fact that his bright, Pop-art style reproduces faithfully online, but this popularity can also be attributed to KAWS’ origins as a street artist.

6 KAWS and the comparisons to Basquiat and Haring

Described by curator and art historian Michael Auping as ‘[Clement] Greenberg’s worst nightmare’, KAWS is seen as the enfant terrible of the New York art world. Many have compared him to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, whose own inimitable styles started out on the street, as well as Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons, who both had an instinctive understanding of the possibilities of art in the age of mechanical reproduction.

KAWS has name-checked his influences, which vary from Claes Oldenburg and Tom Wesselman to Takashi Murakami, the latter in terms of what the artist describes as ‘acceptance and crossover projects’.

7 He’s known for appropriating beloved characters

‘No cartoon is safe from being consumed and turned into KAWS,’ says Christie’s associate specialist Noah Davis. The artist is known for subverting iconic cartoon heroes and in doing so he demonstrates his interest in the characters’ universal cultural value, reinforcing the idea that he makes no distinction between concepts of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art.

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8 He once designed a float for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

In 2012 a KAWS COMPANION  balloon was seen floating down the streets of Manhattan as part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, its XX eyes covered by large gloved hands. Its appearance alongside characters as Mickey Mouse and Sonic the Hedgehog provided further proof of KAWS’ ability to transform art into a spectacle for mass consumption.

9 KAWS and collaboration

After successfully launching his own fashion label, Original Fake, in the early 2000s, KAWS began working with a number of cult streetwear labels, including Bathing Ape and Supreme. In 2008 he designed the cover for Kanye West’s much feted album 808s & Heartbreak, and more recently he has developed his own pair of Nike Air Jordans.

In 2019, Paris Fashion Week saw Dior designer Kim Jones debut his Spring/Summer 2019 collection with a KAWS interpretation of the fashion house’s iconic bee design, set against the backdrop of a 33-ft tall pink flower sculpture of KAWS’s ‘BFF’ character, reproduced as an editioned toy in a mini Dior suit.

KAWS has also collaborated with the Campana brothers on a range of furniture covered in plush toys, which debuted at Art Basel Miami and was immediately snapped up by Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner.

10 His work sells for as little as $15 and as much as $2.4 million

KAWS has teamed up with NIGO, originally of Bathing Ape fame and now creative director of Uniqlo’s LifeWear UT line. His current collection with the Japanese brand sees him redrawing beloved Sesame Street characters on a collection of T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and toys. All priced under $50, the pieces feature the tagline, ‘You’re never too old for the street’.

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In contrast, last November’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale  at Christie’s in New York saw KAWS’ 2012 painting, CHUM (KCB7), sell for $2,412,500, almost five times its high estimate.

Banksy infiltrates prestigious art show in Venice

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SOURCE: ctvnews.ca

The Venice Biennale art show is one of the most prestigious in the world, and this year they had an unauthorized entry show up – legendary British street artist, and part myth, Banksy.

“Setting out my stall at the Venice Biennale,” Banksy wrote on Instagram. “Despite being the largest and most prestigious art event in the world, for some reason I’ve never been invited.”

The auction record for the street artist Invader was broken at Artcurial.

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SOURCE: artsy.net

A large-scale mosaic work by the French street artist Invader zapped his previous auction record on Sunday, when it sold for €356,200 (about $398,800) in Artcurial’s sale of urban and Pop art in Paris. The record-setting work, Vienna (2008), features a hypnotic arrangement of black and blue outlines emanating from one of the artist’s trademark pixelated aliens from the vintage videogame Space Invader. The work is mounted on two panels and spans more than seven feet wide. It sold right around its high estimate of €350,000 ($391,800), surpassing Invader’s previous auction record of $HK 2.68 million ($346,800) set at Christie’s Hong Kong in 2015. Artcurial noted that Vienna’s buyer is a foreign (i.e. not French) collector, but would not give any other information.

‘Simpsons’-Inspired Parody Painting By Kaws Sells For $14.8 Million At Auction

KAWS,  Holiday  (2019).

KAWS, Holiday (2019).

SOURCE: cartoonbrew.com

On April 1, an auction held at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong brought in $28 million from collectors particularly interested in Kaws’ artwork inspired by The Simpsons. His auction record was broken with the sale of his 2005 piece “The KAWS Album,” which sold for a whopping $14.8 million (HK$115.9 million), when the estimate was between $750,000 to $1 million.

Jeff Koons’s Iconic “Rabbit” Sculpture Is Expected to Fetch up to $70 Million at Auction

KAWS,  Holiday  (2019).

KAWS, Holiday (2019).

SOURCE: robbreport.com

Jeff Koons has long been the art world’s enfant terrible, and few other works from his oeuvre express it better than his Rabbit sculpture from 1986. With its shiny, reflective surface, childish subject matter and the implicit lampooning of high-brow puffery, it synthesizes themes that have become lifelong obsessions for the Pop art prince—and which have kept him at the forefront of the art world. Love him or hate him, you know him. And one would be hard pressed to find a better emblem of his career than Rabbit.

Welsh Garage Owner Sells His Christmas Present From Banksy for Six Figures + Other Stories

SOURCE: artnet.com

The Welsh owner of the garagethat Banksy transformed his into latest canvas over Christmas has decided to sell the mural after all. Despite being helped by the Hollywood star Michael Sheen, who grew up in Port Talbot and donated thousands of dollars to protect the artwork, the steelworker Ian Lewis found the cost and responsibility for maintaining the work too much. He sold it to gallerist John Bandler for a reported six-figure sum. He says Season’s Greetings will remain in Port Talbot for two or three years, but might be moved after that. (Guardian)

Banksy's latest work. Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images.

Banksy's latest work. Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images.

21 Facts About Banksy

SOURCE: Sotheby’s

1. Although there has been a great deal of speculation over the years, Banksy’s true identity has never been revealed.

2. It is known that he is originally from Bristol, England, and that fellow Bristolian street artist Robert del Naja a.k.a. 3D served as a source of inspiration to Banksy.

3. Much of his street art and “urban interventions” act as critical commentary on major global issues, including terrorism, political authority and capitalism.

4. Initially, he preferred drawing and producing freehand, but in 2000 he began using stencils, in part due to how quickly they may be produced.

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‘Love Is in the Bin,’ Banky’s Notorious Self-Shredded Artwork, Is Already Getting Its First Museum Show

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SOURCE: Artnet.com

Banksy’s self-shredding artwork is on the move.

A private museum in the south of Germany will be the first institution to exhibit the picture, titled Love is in the Bin (2018). The artwork will go on view at for one month, from February 5 and March 3, at publishing magnate Frieder Burda’s eponymous museum.

The Welsh Steelworker Who Owns Banksy’s Newest Mural Needs Help to Protect the Valuable Attraction From Its Fans

SOURCE: Artnet.com

The Welsh owner of the garage that Banksy transformed his into latest canvas is having difficulties shouldering the costs of securing the valuable mural. Despite being helped by the Hollywood star Michael Sheen, who grew up in Port Talbot and donated thousands of dollars to protect the artwork, the steelworker Ian Lewis is struggling to care for his surprise Christmas gift from Banksy.

“I’m actually managing an art attraction by myself,” Lewis, who owns the garage, told the BBC. “It’s very surreal. I’ve been in freefall. It’s just all been so much

Sotheby's Gets Banksy'ed at Contemporary Art Auction in London

SOURCE: Sotheby’s

In a moment that caught the art world by surprise, Banksy’s Girl with Balloon self-destructed just as the final hammer signaled the end of an evening of auctions in London. The work sold for £1,042,000 ($1.4 million), tying the artist’s record in pounds at auction previously achieved in 2008.

BANKSY'S  GIRL WITH RED BALLOON  MYSTERIOUSLY SHREDS FOLLOWING ITS SALE AT SOTHEBY'S LONDON. IMAGE COURTESY OF  CASTERLINE GOODMAN GALLERY  .

BANKSY'S GIRL WITH RED BALLOON MYSTERIOUSLY SHREDS FOLLOWING ITS SALE AT SOTHEBY'S LONDON. IMAGE COURTESY OF CASTERLINE GOODMAN GALLERY .

French street artist Invader heads ‘into the white cube’ for a solo show — and into the streets for a new L.A. ‘invasion'

KAWS,  Holiday  (2019).

KAWS, Holiday (2019).

SOURCE: latimes.com

This is the anonymous French street artist “Invader,” known globally for his mosaic tile works, featuring pixelated versions of the Space Invader video game character, that he illicitly puts up on building facades from Paris to Perth, Hong Kong to Kathmandu. He’s visiting from Paris for his solo exhibition, “Into the White Cube,” which includes his first ever publicly displayed canvas works. They’re being installed now at the downtown Arts District gallery.