Monumental Yayoi Kusama installations at Louis Vuitton stores in Paris

Rusty Blazenhoff here at Boing Boing recently shared news about the new collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama that has resulted in an audio-animatronic Kusama in their flagship New York City store as well as a 3D anamorphic billboard in Tokyo.

Well, Louis Vuitton has done it again–two of their stores in Paris are getting the Kusama treatment. A giant sculpture in the form of Kusama can be seen on the roof the Champs-Elysées store—the monumental Kusama leans over to paint polka dota all over the front of the building. And at the Place Vendôme store, a giant animatronic Kusama stands in front of the building, painting dots on the façade. Sortira Paris explains:

A huge sculpture in the likeness of Yayoi Kusama has been erected on rue du Pont Neuf, between the headquarters of Louis Vuitton and the Samaritaine. Impossible to miss, the monumental clone of the Japanese artist repainted the facade of the building with colored dots, after having tackled the emblematic LV store on the Champs Élysées. A free, masterful and surprising installation in honor of Louis Vuitton's new dotted collaboration with the famous designer.

After covering the facade of the iconic Louis Vuitton store on the Champs-Élysées, the titanic Yayoi Kusama is at it again, this time revamping the headquarters of the House of LV, just opposite the Samaritaine. The building is adorned with yellow, red, blue, green and silver touches, depicting the flagship print of the Japanese artist's new collaboration with the luxury label. Monumental, it is! Free, too! From this Thursday, March 2, 2023, come and admire this surprising and ultra-realistic installation by the queen of conceptual art.

A self-described avant-garde sculptor, painter and novelist, Yayoi Kusama is renowned for her use of pattern, eye-popping color combinations, and repetition. As MoNA senior research curator Jane Clark notes, "Humans respond with their eyes and brains with pleasure from patterns and illusions–this work is fun, it's physical and it's visually appealing and I'm sure the giggles from people will also make it aurally appealing." 

While the collaboration and the accompanying installations have excited many fans and have been praised by many critics, others have raised questions. ParisianVibe recently released a video on YouTube raising questions about the ethics of the project: 

2023 is looking dotty as the Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama collaboration is painted all over cities. Although this fun and playful fashion collaboration has encouraged excitement worldwide, it is the Kusama robot in window displays that is leaving people feeling confused. In this digital age in which there is a constant battle for people's attention, is this campaign a performative publicity stunt? Or have we broken the barriers of reality and involuntarily become more than passive viewers of her art and are living in, and around it?

The video raises some interesting questions about mental health and the line between celebration and exploitation. I personally find the collaboration and installations intriguing and exciting, and am glad Kusama's work is getting even more exposure, and being introduced to a larger audience. I appreciate that someone is asking these important questions, though—it's definitely something to think about.