Committed to Creation: Three Artists On Board The Celine Art Project - Arts & Culture

One of them helped inspire Celine’s men’s SS23 collection.

Initiated by their creative director, Hedi Slimane, in 2019, the Celine Art Project supports contemporary artists through special commissions, acquisitions, and collaborations. Now, there are over fifty artists tapped for the program. To further spotlight the talents, luxury auction house Sotheby’s is publishing stories on one artist weekly in the coming months. 

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The artists displayed their works in global Celine stores, while some created pieces for runway shows. Here are three of Celine Art Project’s artists, their creations for the fashion house, and what inspires their work. 

Hu Xiaoyuan

Hu, based in Beijing, uses xiao in her “Grass Thorn” (2017) series, where one of its pieces was acquired by Celine. Xiao is a traditional Chinese fabric that was invented over 2,000 years ago. It uses raw silk and is “as thin as a cicada’s wing,” Hu tells Sotheby’s.

In the series, Hu incorporates xiao with reclaimed wood, iron, marble, and recycled metal. The piece titled “Grass Thorn III” is meant to represent the “quietly balanced relationship between the structures of ‘control’ and ‘freedom.'”

Renata Petersen

The graduate of Mexico’s National School of Painting, Sculpture, and Printmaking grew up observing the rituals of evangelical ministries. This included witnessing possessions and exorcisms. “I paint dynamics that already exist,” she tells the auction house. “I just make them a little more hardcore,” she adds. Petersen’s best-known works are painted on ceramics, like vases and plates. 

(L-R): Renata Petersen and LA FORTALEZA DE CRISTAL (COBALTO) – 2021

Her plate artwork from 2017 gave inspiration to Celine’s men’s SS23 collection. In fact, the collection was named after the piece—”Dysfunctional Bauhaus.” 

Petersen‘s “Dysfunctional Bauhaus” (2017)

Mel Kendrick 

Like Slimane, the American artist started his creative career as a photographer. As a sculptor and painter, Kendrick aims to let viewers see something they never have. As a result, for “2 Holes” and “6 Hoes” (2017), he carved wood similar to Swiss cheese. Perhaps, to imitate its whimsicality. 

The Celine Art Project acquired both sculptures. “What the hell is abstraction, and why should anyone want to look at it?” he says. “Abstraction isn’t interesting unless you keep asking that question.”

Images from Sotheby’s website

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