L’Exhibitioniste: A New Christian Louboutin Exhibition
From February 26 to July 26, 2020, the Palais de la Porte Dorée welcomes visitors to explore a major exhibition devoted to the work and creativity of Christian Louboutin. L’Exhibitioniste explores Louboutin’s rich universe, every facet of his multi-referential work.
The famous designer’s passion for travel and references from pop culture, theatre, dance, literature, and cinema inform his creativity.
The exhibition features nine unique sections, covering nearly 30 years of Christian Louboutin’s creations. Curation is by the Director of the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Olivier Gabet, an expert on exhibitions!
After entering the exhibit, visitors are welcomed by an object that serves as the key to L’Exhibitioniste: the sign forbidding the wearing of heels inside the former Musée des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, which used to be housed in the Palais de la Porte Dorée. This sign, which is a sketch of a high-heeled shoe, made a huge impression on the young Christian Louboutin, who visited the museum regularly.
The Early Years space is an extension of the introductory section, functioning as an antechamber to the rooms that follow. With many stain glassworks, this room brings to life the designer’s early years and highlights his early influences. The room centers around a selection of Louboutin’s shoes from those that preceded the now-iconic red sole to the early 2000’s models.
The Treasure Room brings together the shoe designer’s most iconic creations. The shoes are displayed around themes that reveal Louboutin’s eclecticism – culture, travel, fantasy, and innovation. The Treasure Room also presents a work designed for the exhibition by Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi.
The Nudes room features nine leather-clad sculptures in the nine colors of the Nudes collection by the British artists Whitaker/Malem. They are absolute masters of the art of leather cutting and stitching.
Louboutin has a passion for Bhutan, a passion that brought to this exhibition a Bhutanese theatre with gigantic carved wood columns.
Une Reverie by the New Zealand artist Lisa Reihana invites the visitors on a stroll through a dreamworld amid shifting projections of works from Louboutin’s personal collection and places he loves.
The Pop Corridor
This is not a room, but rather a passageway between two worlds. Here one finds portraits of a dream family – Christian Louboutin’s – as well as celebrities and well-known friends.
The Fetish room is designed to display the combination of sets of shoes not made for walking and photographs by David Lynch. The shoe becomes a way of telling stories, invoking the question of fetishism and sexuality.
An Imaginary Museum
The final room in the exhibition is the “Imaginary Museum”, a tribute to the artists and artworks that have been Louboutin’s constant companions since his teenage years.
Words by Rita Archer