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Exhibition Pieces

By Liz Hancock

Exhibition Pieces
Yves Saint Laurent’s L’Homme fragrances have been re-skinned in limited edition bottles created by Norwegian artist Gardar Eide Einarsson.

MiNDFOOD talks to Einarsson about the creation of the Edition Art packaging for fragrances L’Homme, La Nuit de L’Homme and L’Homme Libre, (available in New Zealand only, $135/100ml).

This is the first time you have collaborated with a beauty brand on such a project. What made you decide to do it?

For me, YSL’s incredibly strong heritage is a great source of inspiration. The way Mr. Saint Laurent collected art, for example, is really incredible. When you see images from his private collection, that’s how every artist wants his or her art to be collected. So, coming from a brand like Yves Saint Laurent, I felt there was something really special about the project that made me want to do it.

What were your main sources of inspiration for the artworks you created for YSL?
My inspiration for these three fragrances’ artwork, was related mainly to two things. First of all, there was this idea of masculinity. What is masculinity and how it can be portrayed. Secondly, I felt that there was some kind of parallel that could be made between perfume and painting. Between the way one expresses oneself through scent and the way an artist expresses himself through abstract painting. So I wanted to do something that was quite abstract and painterly in a way.

I had the bottles around all the time in order to try to figure out where to place the emphasis when designing the artworks. I started with L’Homme and tried to re-interpret the type of masculinity it represented. So I made it the centerpiece of the process, and positioned La Nuit de L’Homme and L’Homme Libre as two kinds of poles, two extremities of this central masculinity. That’s why I wanted La Nuit de L’Homme to be darker. The artwork has more drips of painting on it; it has this kind of spider web feeling to it. And then I wanted L’Homme Libre to be a lighter and a little bit more of an “upbeat” version.

You also played with the hexagonal shape of the bottle’s cap. Why did it inspire you?
For me, the identifiable trademark of the L’Homme bottle is its cap. And it’s a very beautiful cap! Its hexagonal shape is so simple and so strong that I thought it had to be used as the key signature of the artworks.

What do you expect consumers to feel when they own one of these bottles?
I believe these limited edition bottles can be considered somewhere between a fragrance and a little piece of art. For most people, it will simply be their fragrance, but I believe it could also have a secondary function, like a little sculpture in a way.


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