above: Robert Longo’s charcoal drawing from the 80’s and right, his new shot for Bottega Veneta
It was virtually impossible to live through the 1980’s without knowing at least one person who had a poster of Robert Longo’s twisted and contorted urban hipsters adorning their wall. Along with the likes of Patrick Nagel, Longo’s graphic art was a staple in poster shops, contemporary art galleries and trendy restaurants.
Now, the artist/photographer/director brings those images back to life in the form of a new advertising campaign for Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta’s Fall-Winter 2010/2011 collection.
The Fall-Winter 2010/2011 campaign marks the first time that the Bottega Veneta men’s collection will receive its own advertising. Ads will run globally in select titles including GQ, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Vogue Hommes and Brutus in Japan. The Fall-Winter 2010/2011 season is centered on the silhouette and characterized by contrasts of structure and fluidity, stillness and movement, and masculine and feminine. The palette is dark and rich, illuminated by flashes of moody iridescence. Both the men’s and women’s collections touch on questions of strength and power, exploring ways of dressing that express a multifaceted individuality. Robert Longo’s series “Men in the Cities,” created in the late 1970s and early 1980s, has influenced photographers for decades. The series, which depicts men and women in business attire contorted in extreme positions, began as photographs taken by Longo on his rooftop.
The artist then created large-scale charcoal and graphite drawings from the photographs.
Longo, who works in a wide range of media including sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, and film, has a virtuoso talent for evoking complex themes with simple, powerful imagery. His graphic style and ability to distill images to a minimum of elements were what led Bottega Veneta Creative Director Tomas Maier to seek him out for the Fall-Winter 2010/2011 campaign. “I have always admired the strength and individuality of Robert Longo’s ‘Men in the Cities’ images,” says Maier. “This collection, with its dark palette and emphasis on line and movement, seemed well-suited to his graphic approach. Also, this is the first time we are focusing on both the men’s and women’s collections and I thought Robert would be the ideal artist to bring the two sides of the brand together. I’m very pleased with the campaign — the images are quite extraordinary.”
Robert Longo joins a prestigious list of artists who have contributed to the creation of Bottega Veneta’s advertising portfolio. Previous collaborations include Nan Goldin (Spring 2010), Steven Meisel (Fall 2009), Larry Sultan (Spring 2009), Todd Eberle (Cruise 2009), Nick Knight (Fall 2008), Sam Taylor-Wood (Spring 2008), Annie Leibovitz (Fall 2007), Tina Barney (Spring 2007), Lord Snowdon (Fall 2006), Stephen Shore (Spring 2006) and Philip-Lorca diCorcia (Fall 2005). Bottega Veneta’s Fall-Winter 2010/2011 advertising campaign will appear in the August issues of select magazines globally.