Longtime arts philanthropist Liz Swig, who serves on the Whitney Museum of American Art board, commissioned Jeff Koons and Kara Walker for Bernardaud dinnerware a while back. Now she has embarked on a new collaborative venture. This time around Swig tapped Vik Muniz and Hiroshi Sugimoto for a set of designs for Selima Optique – a range of out-of-the-box eyeglasses already capturing attention among the design and art set.
‘I fervently believe in continuing a dialogue of leading artists with luxury brands,’ says Swig, who has also completed installations for Vera Wang and Hugo Boss. ‘The eyeglasses are really about seeing the world through artist’s eyes.’
Each of the signed and limited editions for Selima Optique is an art work unto itself. Even Brazilian artist Muniz’s glasses cases amount to a creative endeavour. His 'Happy View' is comprised of a sleek Plexiglas cabinet with a ventricular photograph of nine pairs of sunglasses in a palette running from magenta to yellow floating against a sky of clouds, which appear to move. Inside are actual eyeglasses, each in a different tone. ‘As Vik’s oeuvre can be found in both the Tate and MoMA, possessing 'Happy View' is akin to owning one of his masterpieces,’ says Swig.
Japanese photographer and architect Sugimoto’s 'Oculist Witnesses' comprise a solid silver sculptural frame with a series of seven interchangeable tinted lenses. In an edition of 25, the boxed set reflects the artist’s interpretation of Marcel Duchamp. In addition, Italian artist Paolo Pivi has lent her finely tuned eye to the design of a pair of squiggly frames.
‘I’m taking a stand at DesignMiami/ – all can see the art world first-hand while snapping up a pair of stylish specs,’ concludes Swig.