Gucci are releasing a limited-edition artbook shot by Yorgos Lanthimos for their 2020 Cruise collection, titled Oviparity.
It’s Gucci season baby! The famed fashion house are blessing us with a limited-edition artbook chock full of photographs by Greek photographer and director of The Favourite Yorgos Lanthimos for their 2020 Cruise collection. Shot at the Leda Gallery of Villa Albani Torlonia in Rome, Lanthimos took immense inspiration from Gucci’s head-honcho Alessandro Michele to create a body of work inspired by the Villa’s iconic past.
Designed by sculptor and architect Carlo Marchionni in the mid-18th century, the classic buildings’ original purpose was homing the many antiques collected by Cardinal Alessandro Albani, nephew of Pope Clement XI. Somewhere along the way, the chateau became an iconic center of culture for the arts, hosting discussions on the burgeoning neoclassical movement, dances, masked comedies, and now, Yorgos Lanthimos for Gucci!
Michele himself took vast inspiration from the Leda galleries’ namesake statue – Leda and the Swan – a first-century Roman sculpture that copies a Greek statue all the way back in the fourth century BC. The journey Michele and Lanthimos embark on looks at placing importance on the value of the copy, which in its own strange way, holds its own authenticity. The marble marvel also influenced the artbook’s title; Oviparity, which is a zoological term referring to the production of eggs by an animal. In some iterations of the artworks’ story, Leda was seduced by Zeus in the form of a swan and lays two eggs that eventually hatch into her children.
This distinct narrative, then, could have only ended up being undertaken by Cannes-award winning film and stage director Lanthimos, whose own work is characterised by his pallid looking subjects, whose powder-white complexions give life to the stoney wanness of marble. His elderly cast pose as statues and artists’ models and interact with the animated-Gucci-clad youth, highlighting the complicated yet beautiful relationship between the living and the eternal.
Oviparity will be published in November and will be distributed by IDEA Books, the London-based independent publisher. It will also be available at Gucci Garden in Florence and Gucci Wooster in New York.
Thanks to this project, the Leda Gallery of Villa Albani Torlonia will be restored.