by Christabel Stewart .

U is for Upmarket

This is one of twelve letters spelling out the luxury brand name Louis Vuitton in human bodies, created by contemporary artist Vanessa Beecroft. Exhibited at the brand new 'Espace Louis Vuitton' exhibition venue situated at the top of the flagship LV store on the Champs Elysees in Paris, this inaugural show was unveiled to audiences at a private viewing last night. Beecroft’s 'Alphabet Concept' of human letters is a quaint idea borrowed from a book she found in a thrift store in New York and had wanted to realise for some time. Using the concept to indulge the brand so wholeheartedly seemed an audacious way for Beecroft to proceed given this was a commission-without-brief, though her work (typically performances involving ranks of aloof women, groomed and wearing only tights, wigs or shoes in various public situations) has divided opinion about its critical intent and meaning since the early 1990s. Beecroft sees the devil in the details. U decide.

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