The art of travel has always lain close to the heart of Louis Vuitton — the Maison started making its famous steamer trunks over 160 years ago, and it hasn't lost touch with its nomadic roots. Celebrating this rich legacy, the luxury house continues to expand its horizons this year with three new additions to its Travel Books collection, spotlighting the buzzing cities of Barcelona, Morocco, and Saint Petersburg.
Showcasing stunning illustrations by French figurative painter Marc Desgrandschamps, fashion illustrator Kelly Beeman, and Canadian artist Marcel Dzama, the Travel Books series is an open invitation to real and virtual voyages. Offering a unique perspective of local culture and architecture as seen through the eyes of these renowned talents, each tome is not just a travel diary, but a real artwork.
The vivid scenery of Barcelona, with its fantastic landmarks like the Basílica de la Sagrada Familia and streets full of curious tourists, is brought to life in translucent tones by Marc Desgrandschamp, who consulted George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia to deepen his understanding of the Catalan capital. "My work is not narrative, although I wouldn't say that the concept is entirely absent," Desgrandschamps says. "It's like when you're watching someone strolling down a city street or a car whizzing by. Nothing is happening, and yet it's the beginning of a possible story."
Placing himself in the position of an explorer, contemporary artist Marcel Dzama ventures to the mystical and beautiful country of Morocco, capturing the customs and traditions of its people, and roaming its impressive variety of landscapes, from seashores to deserts to mountain ranges. "For this project, I tried to strike a balance between the representation and the reality of what I saw, while bringing to it abstraction or perhaps a touch of surrealism," says Dzama.
With illustrations characterised by clean black lines, fields of colour, flat perspectives, and simplified forms, Kelly Beeman evokes the city of Saint Petersburg, recreating the likes of the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the blue domes of the Trinity Cathedral. "I deliberately omit reference points to create... an empty space that will fill the spectator's imagination," explains the artist.
Each title in the Travel Books collection comes in a limited edition of 30 copies, numbered and signed by the respective artist. Visit louisvuitton.com to find out more.