Welcome to the Dior Talks podcast series themed around the seventh edition of Dior Lady Art and hosted by Paris-based journalist Katya Foreman. For this year’s event, 11 artists from around the world have participated in a game of metamorphosis by rendering the iconic Lady Dior handbag as a unique piece of art.
“It was really about finding the perfect image,” says our latest guest, Brian Calvin, a California-based contemporary artist known for his large-scale paintings of women. Human features serve as building blocks for this influential artist who uses painting as a way to process the world around him from the most banal, such as going to the grocery store and meeting someone, to “seeing whatever Hollywood is putting out there.” In his captivating works, recurring compositional elements like lips and eyes take on extra significance, like portals evoking prehistoric or Egyptian art.
Cue ‘Backstage,’ which served as the inspiration for the artist’s large Lady Dior bag, revisited with intricate beading and embroidery to rich, tactile effect. On one side, curtains of hair reveal a simplified and abstracted eye, while the other features three female figures; two in profile and one where only a large eye is visible.
“The paintings are often staring you down,” explains Calvin. “They’re looking right back at you, and the bags are doing that, too. Wherever you go, on some level, these eyes are going to be following you.”
His smaller bag, meanwhile, features a head lying down, like a landscape, lending a daydreamer quality with the hair going all the way around the bag. “In its own way, it’s like a rolling hillside, a little pastoral,” says the artist.
Tune into the episode to hear Calvin discuss transposing his world onto the 3D Lady Dior, and his thoughts on the symbiosis of fashion and art.