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Top 5 Art World Moments of Vogue's September Issue
What to expect while dutifully leafing through the cultural artifact of the year...
Art Stuff 28 Aug 2018

August is drawing to a lightly sunburnt close and you’d be hard-pressed to find a newsstand without Beyoncé’s radiant face beaming down from the cover of September Vogue. And since you’ve now had ample time to get your hands on a copy of the hallowed, brick-like tome, there’s no excuse for not having had devoured it cover to cover—right? Perhaps, like me, you’ve even taken a few accidental naps on its sacred pages while you dutifully leaf through the most important cultural artifact of the year.

If your style is more leafing through to the cover shoot, pausing only to wiggle your eyebrows at some of the more ~visionary~ ads, than a good old-fashioned read-through that takes up your whole Sunday, never fear. We’ve parsed out all the best art moments from the issue so you can drop some cultural references at the next gallery dinner without reading every word of the 646-page monster yourself. We won’t tell.

1. Virgil Abloh exhibit

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The Off-White designer, head menswear designer of Louis Vuitton and all-around creative wunderkind who feels as at home sketching designs in the architecture studio as he does spinning beats in the DJ studio, has an upcoming exhibition of his work coming up next summer at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, June 11 through September 22. A child of the present moment even as he’s pushing 40, Abloh told Vogue: “Young people in every city that I go to are loving life and actively participating in it. I am shocked at how open-minded young people of different cultures are compared to the presiding older generations.” And if that’s not enough to make you want to brave Chicago weather to see this exhibit (all right, it’ll be summer), keep in mind that Abloh has one other major notch on his belt: Off-White is the first luxury fashion brand designed and owned by an African American. Page 532.

2. Nicolas Ghesquière talks artistic inspiration

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Newly renewed Louis Vuitton creative director, Ghesquière revealed his inspiration for the 2019 cruise collection, shown in June at the Fondation Maeght, which houses one of the most extensive collections of modern and contemporary art in the world. Not to be upstaged by paintings and sculptures by the likes of Miró, Calder, Giacometti, Chagall and Léger, not to mention an array of contemporary masters, the building itself is a stunning example of Catalan architecture, blending the avant-garde with traditional Mediterranean flair on a secluded, a pine-studded campus just a hop away from Nice. It’s no wonder Ghesquière found his muse at Maeght and crafted his cruise collection, itself a modernized, unbuttoned take on traditional Riviera vibes, around its golden aura. Page 537.

3. Max Hollein, the new Aussie at the helm of the MET

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As the four-page feature notes, the only area where Hollein’s qualifications for this esteemed post fall short is beyond his control to change: he isn’t a woman. And yet, according to the New York Times story profiling his appointment, only one lady was in the final round of consideration, Emilie Gordenker of Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague. That said, Hollein promises to “open up” the Met at a time when diversity is key, in art and in all other areas of life. We’ll see if he’s up to the task soon enough. Page 560.

4. Lil Miquela likes to hit up LACMA in her spare time

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In her canny feature on everyone’s favorite sexy-but-approachable CGI influencer, Naomi Fry drops an intriguing tidbit about Lil Miquela’s favorite passtimes: “It would likely be fun, I mused inwardly in an unguarded moment, to ‘hit up’ the young influencer the next time I traveled to L.A., as she suggested, and go to LACMA or the La Brea Tar Pits.” Looks like Lil Miquela, artificial construct created by a team of millennial designers that she may be, has a taste for the arts. We take it as a hopeful sign that, according to the Brud team, at least, the idealized Gen-Z aggregate sees the value of interacting with art irl, not just on an iPhone screen. Page 368.

5. Tyler Mitchell

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The first African American to shoot the cover of Vogue, Tyler Mitchell undeniably stole the show—and the headlines—this September. Though he dipped into the realm of fashion photography for this issue (who wouldn’t make an exception for the queen herself?), Mitchell is primarily an artist, his work inspired by the duality of the black experience in America and the aesthetic of Spike Jonze skate videos. His name will doubtless be attached to Beyoncé for the foreseeable future, but don’t forget to check out Mitchell’s other work, including a series called I’m Doing Pretty Hood in My Pink Polo, which showed at his gallery, Red Hook Labs. Page 194.

Photos via Barneys The Window, Saint-Paul de Vence, FAMSF, @lilmiquela, @tylersphotos

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