Lenny Kravitz turns his lens on glittering coterie of friends in New York exhibition
Rocker, actor, designer – not just a musician, Lenny Kravitz is in fact a man of many talents. A fact that storied champagne house Dom Pérignon evidently recognised when the brand appointed him creative director in May.
The company is known for commissioning diverse talents such as Tokujin Yoshioka, Jeff Koons, and Karl Lagerfeld to contribute their artistic viewpoints, so asking Kravitz to establish a new vision is not such a leap of faith. A longtime fan of Dom Pérignon and friend of chef de cave Richard Geoffroy, Kravitz’s first steps were to travel to Hautvillers, France to learn more about the winemaking process. From this a more extensive collaboration was born.
The first outcome of this partnership is ‘Assemblage,’ an exhibition of photographs by Kravitz. Debuting at New York’s Skylight Modern before it embarks on a global tour (and subsequent advertising campaign), the showcase captures a warm gathering of his friends and family (daughter Zoë Kravitz appears), captured socialising while ‘tasting the stars’.
© Lenny Kravitz. Courtesy of Dom Pérignon
Kravitz became captivated by photography as a child, when he would play with his father’s Leica camera. ‘My father gave me the camera when I was 21,’ he says. ‘When I was 24 I got a record deal, so I had to be in front of the camera, but I always thought it was far more interesting what was going on behind it.’ Over the years, Kravitz developed close relationships with photographers such as Mark Seliger and Jean-Baptiste Mondino, who taught him the craft.
For ‘Assemblage’, Kravitz referenced the work of another famed lensman. ‘I was very much inspired by the Studio 54 photographs of Ron Galella, who did all these wonderful shots of New York nightlife,’ he says. The black-and-white images in the Dom Pérignon exhibit were captured at the Stanley House, a 10,700 sq ft residence in the Hollywood Hills designed by Kravitz and XTEN Architecture. The musician started his firm Kravitz Design in 2003.
‘I took the interiors and architecture lane because that was something I was so interested in,’ he says. ‘I had no idea how to make it happen, but I basically used my own money to start the company.’ The studio has since completed projects including a collection with Philippe Starck for Kartell, product lines for CB2 and Flavor Paper, and the interiors of 75 Kenmare, a luxury condominium in Manhattan. ‘I got accepted into the design world by paying my dues, going to Milan, and spending time with designers,’ he adds.
It seems Kravitz’s multidisciplinary approach to creativity won’t be slowing down any time soon. ‘Music is my nucleus, but I’m just as passionate about design, photography, and acting,’ he says. ‘I’m always weaving the different mediums and it enables me to continue to be creative.’
Kravitz’s role will continue in 2019 with the release of a limited-edition bottle.§