Bubbles and beaux-arts have always mixed well in a cheery cocktail of luxury-meets-Bohemia, especially at Private View time. But visitors to this year’s Art Basel will come face to face with the more unusual pairing of £500 skincare and original sculpture.
Swiss beauty brand La Prairie is breaking new ground by taking luxury cosmetics to the art world. Celebrating 30 years of its range of creams infused with caviar, it has partnered with five artists from the mediums of sculpture, digital art, kinetic art and photography, and the results will be shown over the next few months at fairs in Basel, New York, Shanghai and Paris.
At Art Basel, a sculptural piece by Paul Coudamy will take its place in the La Prairie pavilion in the Collectors Lounge. Coudamy – who runs his own interior design practice in Paris and sits at a crossroads between artist, designer and architect – was given a free hand to evoke, in sculptural form, the brand’s Skin Caviar Absolute Filler.
To develop his piece, Coudamy examined the Weaire-Phelan formula, an exact geometrical structure representing bubbles. Expressing the product’s scientific side, the piece is made up of equal-sized cells of lacquered metal that lock together to form a sculpture that can take new forms each time it is installed. Clustered around its edges are 100,000 black magnetic caviar-like balls. The two elements – the mathematical cell structure and the uncontrollable, organic formations of the balls – combine to represent the make-up of the product.
For fair-goers, appreciation of the piece might be enhanced by the experience of a customised facial, also to be found in the Collectors Lounge.
As originally featured in the July 2017 issue of Wallpaper* (W*220)