Art & Culture - Louis Vuitton Publishing 05/25

New Travel Books: Seoul and Los Angeles

Each album highlights a city, a region or a country through the gaze of an artist.

The film

The Louis Vuitton Travel Book series is an invitation to real and virtual voyages, enriched by intellectual stimulation and poignant moments. In its pages, the illustrations of renowned artists and promising young talents tell the stories of the cities and countries they have visited, depicting each place’s varied architecture and special light, and recording the passing days and the lives of its people. Going beyond the pictorial vocation of these travel journals, the series highlights the rich aesthetic horizons of art.

The new books

Los Angeles
by Javier Mariscal

A graphic designer, illustrator, designer, filmmaker, painter, sculptor and ceramist, Javier Mariscal is a Spanish artist who loves to challenge. A total artist, irreverent and, above all, “free”, the word that guides his existence. His motto: “Hay que romper con todo.” (“You have to break with everything.”).

A dyslexic child, he was obsessed by drawing from a very early age and fascinated by letters and typography, a passion that would have a substantial influence on his work. As he sees it, drawing is the cornerstone of everything. He insists that a piece of furniture, hotel, animated film, magazine cover, logo, wallpaper, poster or portrait, “all of it is ONLY a drawing”. His style is edgy, unbridled and protean, embracing the various techniques and media he encounters. The small notebook he uses to sketch a cup of coffee on the table, or the face of the person he’s talking to, never leaves his pocket.

by Icinori

Icinori is a studio of designers, visual artists, screen printers and publishers dealing in art books, prints, animated books and concertina books.

But first and foremost, Icinori is a truly astonishing pair, one soul with two (smart) heads, four (skilful) hands and twenty (incomparable) fingers, belonging to the French-Spanish-Japanese Mayumi Otero and French Raphaël Urwiller, two graduates from the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs of Strasbourg (France), which is where they met. They founded Icinori in 2007 when they were still students. Since then, as work and life partners, they have been travelling, exploring, observing, illustrating and drawing together with a breath-taking attention to detail, displaying the sort of meticulousness that typifies only the most passionate of artists.

by Li Kunwu

“I’ve been hearing about Cuba since I was little. In the 1950s, our two countries developed excellent relations. Deep down, I always knew I’d go there one day.” For Li Kunwu, as a Chinese artist, Cuba resonates strongly, the island’s history mirroring that of the Middle Kingdom.

He marvels at the similarity of Cuban landscapes with the scenery in his native Yunnan and is captivated by these Cubans with their similar destiny. The passion he felt there followed him all the way to his studio, where he created over three hundred drawings, including inks, colours, lignes claires, portraits and landscapes. The diversity of styles reflects the intensity of his emotions and the profusion he encountered when he was in Cuba.

by Pavel Pepperstein

For Pavel Pepperstein, Prague is a place of sentimental value with an almost protective character. He arrived there from his native Russia at the age of fourteen and was “immediately struck by the beauty and mystery of this incredible city”, at that time less sophisticated and less of a tourist destination. The dilapidated state of certain deserted neighbourhoods served to reinforce the city’s enigmatic nature.

“I have never since felt the force of that kind of presence, and never had such a strong sense of the essence of Europe anywhere else.” Pavel Pepperstein praises the city’s different neighbourhoods, such as the very popular St. Vitus Cathedral, and is equally enthusiastic about the dilapidated areas and semi-abandoned factories at the end of the tram lines. He goes on to recount these places with a razor-sharp pen. Pavel Pepperstein, ever the engaged artist, sometimes incorporates objects that conjure up instruments of power or geometric figures. These different obsessions, which tend towards utopias, could merge in a future enriched by a sense of hope for the human condition, a hope the artist nurtures wholeheartedly.

by Miles Hyman

”Rome inspires anything but indifference: with its light, first of all, but also its special colours, which have cast a kind of progressive spell on me: the facades in shades of ochre, golden yellow, azure and subtle turquoise, not to mention a wide range of reds, each richer than the next.“ Rome as portrayed by Hyman is like a woman, an elusive woman of mystery, seen on a street corner, in the shadows of a terrace or on a balcony.

Look away for an instant and she’s gone. Just like Rome. The city responds to his approach, offering up its beauty. It becomes ”energetic and dynamic, charged with a fleeting beauty, joyous — the elements of the poetry in its everyday life“. The city’s inhabitants take precedence over its monuments. ”Today,“ Miles Hyman says, ”I realize that the Rome Travel Book could have been called Travel Book of the Romans. I absolutely wanted to capture the daily life of the inhabitants of this enchanting city with honesty and admiration — I am tempted to say ”tenderness“. Why did I want to stress the human element of the city? Because, for me, the key to the city is the striking contrast between its ephemeral life and the eternal.“

Route 66
by Thomas Ott

No one but Thomas Ott, a true film fanatic nourished on comic books and novels, could rush with such fervour to the legendary US Route 66. From Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California, he travelled nearly 4,500 kilometres over a period of three weeks.

”Route 66 is a forgotten world. No one uses it. The landscapes are bare. The towns are in ruins. The streets are empty and silent. These are ghost towns, frozen in the past. I illustrate this lost America along the road.“ As the horizon stretches out, the traveller becomes intoxicated with movement, space and freedom. From the photographs he selected, Ott made tracings, replicated them on the scratchboard and dug into the black cardboard to uncover the white spaces. Each drawing is a metaphysical melting pot that questions the meaning of Route 66, a metaphor for a whole life. As is his wont, Ott describes its fall. The end of the journey, marked by turns and detours, cannot be a happy ending, only a culdesac, a dead end.

The collection