We all know how pleased we feel leaving a high-end boutique with The Bag containing our purchase. The Bag is almost as important as the brand. Chanel, Hermés, Tiffany and Louis Vuitton, to name just an elegant few, have logos recognizable from 100 yards. Their bags gleam.
Artist Jonathan Seliger comments on the pulling power of these upscale acquisitions in his show at Galérie de Bellefeuille, on Montreal’s Greene Avenue. His ‘Objects of Desire’ are just that. They are bigger-than-life shopping bags, emblazoned with the logo of the haute house, be it Kate Spade or Tiffany. Cast in bronze in editions of five, the bags are then sprayed with automotive paint, for a glossy, seductive glow. A weighty comment on purchasing power.
At least one in each edition of five is a perfect replica: for example, one Hermés bag is painted in the couture house’s orange with the lovely horse-calèche logo of the brand. But the other four in each series are different hues– the logo is still recognizable, but the colorations are not. My favourite, the Prada bag, is pristine in white. These glam bags are eye candy– which is actually the name of one of his works – in saccharine pink and robin’s egg blue. The bags are seductive; the colours are outstanding. They are amusing. Seliger makes one bag with a Hermés top and a Kate Spade bottom. Just like we wear our clothes: mix and match. These glam pieces also reflect us as we peer closely at their shiny surface. Charmed, I’m sure!
But you can also get the real haute couture house bags (and the things that come in them) right here in Montreal. Find Louis Vuitton at Ogilvy, while Tiffany, Chanel, and Hermés are over at Holt Renfrew. Speaking of Chanel, The Bay or “La Baie” in downtown Montreal just opened a chic new Chanel cosmetic counter, so why not pick up some Chanel N° 5 and head up to the gallery?
Galérie de Bellefeuille, 1367Greene Avenue
Ogilvy, 1307 Saint-Catherine Street West
Holt Renfrew 1300 Sherbrooke Street West (also corner Mountain)
The Bay, 585 Saint-Catherine Street West
Pictured: Princess, 2007, Automotive enamel on bronze & Charms, 2008, Automotive enamel on bronze