From our Continental Correspondent – Mattotti in Vietnam
Building on their first series from 2013, French luxury brand Louis Vuitton has started a second series of travel books, guides to a particular destination, be it a country or a city. Every time, a renowned artist is asked to provide the illustrations, and act as the host for the reader.
In March, manga master Jirô Tanigutchi joined the ranks of Chéri Samba, Daniel Arsham, Jean-Philippe Delhome and Natsko Seki with a new story set in Venice. And now, it’s Italian graphical genius Lorenzo Mattotti’s turn, with a new book about Vietnam.
“Travel cleanses the eyes”
In an accompanying launch video, Mattotti tells how looking at this country for the first time in 2012 allowed him to see it with an open mind, and find new perspectives. He also explains how he likes to use a multitude of styles in his art, drawing from what he sees, from the style of the country he’s visiting, and also allowing strange objects and perspectives to seep into the picture (as is often the case with his comics as well). In his book, he has tried to capture the original shapes of the Vietnam landscape, but also the vibrancy of a world city like Hanoi, with their strange, narrow houses and bustling traffic.
The books are not cheap (45 EUR, or 38 GBP) perhaps unsurprisingly coming from a luxury brand like Louis Vuitton, but they are presented in a very lavish style, too large and probably too beautiful to be used as an actual travel guide. But no less splendid as an original art book to lose yourself in while dreaming of grand excursions to distant lands.
Coinciding with the launch of the book, the Galerie Martel in Paris is hosting an exhibition of the original art from the book from May 16 onwards, when the author will be present in the gallery to sign copies of the book. And let’s be honest, we’re happy at any excuse to talk about and admire art from the great Mattotti.