"LV Escaldes", 2009.
Signed L Gispert and dated 09 and numbered 4/6 on verso. C-print 121 x 179 cm. Certificate included in lot.
Stefan Lundgren Gallery/Mallorca Landings Residency, Palma de Mallorca.
Luis Gispert lets the viewer sit in the backseat of truly luxurious vehicles. The expensive interiors bear witness to the owner’s love for the vehicle and desire to extend their personality and mark their allegiance to a subculture with the help of luxury brands such as Luis Vuitton. Gispert’s pictures thus create a discussion around culture and values. His photographic series weld his conceptual ideas together with classic, inoffensive landscapes, and create new works with exciting contrasts as a way of describing the transition between nature and culture, rural and urban. The transitions are unpolished and sometimes brutal, as Gispert intends them to be. His aim is not soft, subtle transitions and pictures faithful to reality. It is the sharp edges, the roughness, that creates the dynamism in his pictures.
Gispert was interviewed by Artsy.net, in 2013, regarding this project:
”Armed with a camera on a cross-country roadtrip, renowned photographer and sculptor Luis Gispert sought lowrider cars and low-country landscapes—in his own words, “chasing sunrises and sunsets”—that he would later superimpose through the windshields of specialty auto interiors. In a colorful twist of fate, Gispert came across a Miami local with a car entirely clad in Louis Vuitton—Murakami print—beginning his love affair with the subculture of brand-fanatics and their decked out, bootleg-designer interiors, as well as changing the course of his project.
Artsy: How did you conceive of this project?
Luis Gispert: The project started out of a desire to get out of the studio where I was predominantly making films and sculptures. It was a romantic yearning to travel, to be lost in a sublime landscape with a camera, alone for days waiting for the perfect light. Alas the clichéd ubiquitous landscape photograph bored me tears, I needed to frame the landscapes in a context that interested me. My interest in subcultures, particularly custom cars, and airplanes provided me a place of departure. The project became a combination of two photographs, one of the landscape, the other an interior of a highly modified, fetishized vehicle taken from the point of view of a driver or passenger.
Artsy: Can you elaborate on your experience in Miami that made you steer from your original course?
LG: I’m in Miami after following a car club for a couple of weeks up and down the state. They’ve been doing a series of car shows. I’ve been stalking very unique car interiors to shoot. I’ve already photographed three of their members’ cars. One member tells me about his cousin who has a very “dope” Cadillac Escalade. We meet at an Opa-locka gated community, one of these nondescript apartment complexes where all the buildings are identical. I meet the guy, a short Trinidadian with a contagious Caribbean accent. I follow him back to a row of small, single car garages. White boxes with roll-up doors.
He rolls it up and inside—I don’t know how he stuffed it in there, there’s barely room to get in the door—there’s this giant pearl white Escalade. The ride is completely decked out. It’s sitting on 24 inch white rims. I peer inside and the interior is entirely upholstered with Louis Vuitton Takashi Murakami, accented with green and purple crocodile skin. I’m floored. Immediately I think of Takashi Murakami—before even thinking about Louis Vuitton. I bring it up with the owner. He doesn’t know who Takashi Murakami is. I explain to him what Murakami does, but he doesn’t seem that interested. What he is interested in is Louis—it is all about the Louis. It makes me wonder if Vuitton used Murakami, not as a fine artist but as a designer ... “
Luis Gispert lives and works in New York. He is represented in the permanent collections of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.