Koons’ Vuitton Bags: Joyous Art History

High art needs all the friends it can get. Museum attendance is dropping all over the world, and earnest attempts to court the young and identify with the new are clearly not working. Something more eloquent is needed: unequivocal enthusiasm for great art in a language people in the 21st century understand. Rubens is one of the great painters Koons has chosen to celebrate in a line of bags for Vuitton. Koons, a notorious appropriation artist, is infamous for turning kitsch images and objects into art, but for his range of handbags, rucksacks and other expensive accessories he is turning great art back into popular culture. Just as Andy Warhol created Warholized versions of Renaissance art, Koons has turned the old masters into fashion must-haves (if you can afford them – prices range up to $4,000).

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