Painter and sculptor born in upstate New York, Banks Violette, is no stranger to working with Celine. In 2007, the American artist contributed work to Sweet Bird of Youth, an exhibition curated by the brand's artistic director Hedi Slimane for Arndt & Partner Gallery in Berlin, which gathered a group of young artists who were part of a movement personified by the late Dash Snow. Snow's polaroids captured his friends and their exploits as an era of decadence and rebellion was welcomed; other artists featured included Terence Koh, Ryan McGinley and Nate Lowman.
In 2022, Slimane enlisted Violette to help adorn pieces in his A/W 2022 menswear collection for Celine. Remember the embroidered American flag and galloping horse on a leather jacket? That was Violette's. 'There’s something in the way [imagery] get's reanimated, as a factor for somebody’s belief or faith in something', Violette told Artnet at the time. 'It doesn’t matter if it’s a romantic ideal or some bullshit notion of patriotism. Usually something ugly happens as a consequence, and I’m super-fascinated by that'. The collection itself was all about merging the aesthetics of Parisienne elegance with 'the dark side of Americana', something inherent to Violette and Slimane's work, no matter the brief.
The pair's latest collaboration continues this dark fusion of aesthetics in an unexpected riff on a festive window display, Celine style. Including 14 pieces in total - all bearing similarities to 'chandelier structures', this rendition of the Celine Art Project will be displayed in Celine stores worldwide in time for Christmas, all comprising three industrial lighting displays deconstructed to the near point of no return.
Speaking of why he likes to work with Slimane, Violette said:
'The thing that i've always admired about Hedi is that even when the approach is deconstructed, there isn't any critical remove or detachment. There's a genuine sincerity to his investment in the things he admires. As a result, he can transform something that is permanently framed as ironic into its opposite'. The sculptures are true Violette in their minimalist, brutalist form that challenges modern day conventions and ideas. These may not be classically 'Christmassy', but they are stereotypically Banks Violette x Hedi Slimane.