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R.I.P Tobias Wong and Louise Bourgeois

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This week, the design world mourns the loss of two great artists, innovators and provocateurs,  Tobias Wong and Louise Bourgeois.

Tobias Wong (1974-2010) made art that at once celebrated and criticized consumer culture. Pieces like the ‘Killer Ring”, a wedding ring with a reverse stone setting, and the pop-up retail prank “The Wrong Store” left an indelible mark on the fashion industry. Through collaborations with Comme des Garcons, Swarovoski Crystals and Colette, the influential Paris boutique, Wong “redefine(d) collaboration and curation as creative practices”.

Wong successfully played with other people’s work, too, from Andy Warhol to U.K. fashion stalwart Burberry. After seeing a warning in a magazine from Burberry stating, “This tartan is ours, and anyone using it will be prosecuted,” Wong set out to recreate buttons with the famous Burberry check and began passing them out at art openings. Burberry responded by making similar buttons and using them in ad campaigns. That Burberry had made  “a knock-off of a knock off” Wong said, “was the biggest high” and an ultimate critique of consumption.

Wong’s ability to poke fun at the design industry in which he worked will be sorely missed.

*The design world also lost innovative sculptor and artist Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010). At 98, the French born New York resident was still creating influential works. Bourgeois will be best remembered for her stark, autobiographical forms exploring ideas of femininity and family. Bourgeois’ most famous work was a thirty-foot steel and marble spider statue titled, Maman.

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