Two years ago Christian Dior did their first Dior Lady Art collaboration with three British and three American contemporary artists. The collection debuted during Art Basel in Miami in December 2016, then toured various Dior boutiques around the world for customers to view and buy. When I heard about the new bags, I did not hesitate because I love unique, limited edition items, especially pieces that cross the line into fine art. I reviewed each of them in detail and contemplated which one I would love for years to come. I also considered the codes of the house of Dior, and how the artists perceived them. The two Lady Dior Art bags I acquired from the first collection is a medium, black and white mink Lady Dior designed by contemporary American artist and photographer Daniel Gordon, and the other is a metallic colorful mini Lady Dior designed by contemporary British painter, Ian Davenport. These bags were my very first Dior bags and they were pieces of art! I was so excited to be the new owner of these iconic bags!
On September 12, 2018 I had the privilege to meet Ian Davenport in a small, intimate setting at the Dior boutique in Dallas. It was a lovely event of flowing champagne, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres and interesting discussions about fashion and art. I was lucky enough to have some good one on one time with Mr. Davenport and we got to discuss the bag, his art, and other subjects of art. He was fantastic, down to earth, and very smart. In a question and answer session, those of us in attendance got first hand insight into the birth of the Dior collaboration, the process of the design, as well as more about Mr. Davenport’s artistic process and the upcoming exhibit at the Dallas Contemporary. One of the highlights of the night was having my bag signed by Mr. Davenport. Another highlight came when I met Angela Hall, the director of Learning at the Dallas Contemporary, who offered to give me a behind the scenes look at the Davenport exhibit: Horizons, which was being installed for the September 30 opening. Since I had never seen any of his colorful paintings in person, I told her I would definitely take her up on the offer. Having the chance to see his art in person is definitely not something I was going to pass up.

The next morning I set up a visit to the museum before my noon departure. I was greeted by the young and vibrant staff of the museum, including Ms. Rosa Langley, Director of Development, as well as Ms. Hall. Together the three of us got to view a wide scope of Mr. Davenports work and learn more about his creative process, including how he picks colors, his planning process, and how he comes up with different ideas. It was wonderful to be able to walk through the wide open spaces of the gallery and view the art with my own private guide and without any interference, well, except from the artist himself! While we were looking at his collection of Splat paintings, he approached us to say good morning. He then told us the charming story about how he got the idea for splats after teaching a group of children about his art. The story went something like this:

Each child was armed with a syringe of paint to try his poured lines technique. Some of the rebels in the class didn’t go for the meticulous and controlled approach of lining up their syringes at the top of the paper. Instead they just used the syringes like bazookas and shot the paint at the paper and let it explode on the paper. Mr. Davenport liked the idea and played with it in his studio and that is how he came up with the explosive idea of Splats.

I knew he was very busy, so I tried not to keep him long. He had to finish the installation, then catch a flight back to London to prepare for the opening of another show September 20 at Waddinton Custot. I did manage to get a couple of great photos with him in front of one of his beautiful puddle paintings. I even got his permission to put my Lady Dior back into the puddle from which she emerged two years ago!

I really I don’t have the words to explain how unsurpassable this whole experience was for me. I got to meet a world famous artist, he signed my limited edition Dior Lady Art bag, I got a behind the scenes look at his work and his mind, as well as some amazing photos to capture my memories. The magnitude and vibrancy of the works in this exhibit can only be fully appreciated in person. I hope you take this outstanding opportunity see the comprehensive span of Ian Davenport’s work in Horizons at the Dallas Contemporary (It’s FREE!). I am so delighted I got to see my reflection in the arches of the Poured Paintings, and feel the rhythm of the Poured Lines and the fluidity of the Puddles. Now I just have to acquire one of these paintings for my new home: #ARTGOALS.

ELN – Tatiana

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