Fresh from her collaboration with Louis Vuitton, Allison Zuckerman sits down with Magazine by Runway Gallery to discuss the most successful year of her life
Take note of Allison Zuckerman. The Brooklyn-based artist has risen to the forefront of both the fashion and art industries after working with Jeremy Scott, Louis Vuitton and Vogue Italia. Though, with the release of her animal-inspired series, her life is only going to get wilder.
Allison’s latest collaboration with Vogue Italia also included multiple designers: Burberry, Gucci, Isabel Marant, Blumarine, Stella McCartney, Reformation, Valentino, and Fendi, meaning she is, in fact, one of the most stylish artists on the planet.
Speaking to Magazine from her studio in New York, the artist shared the secrets behind her colour-kissed life- from her work for Charlie XCX to taking over the streets of the Empire State in the name of Veuve Clicquot. A rainbow infused tribute to Reims in the streets of Brooklyn? Cheers to that.
Allison, let’s start at the very beginning. When you start a new series, where do you begin, and what does the creative process usually involve?
I like to work on more than one piece at a time – that way, the work stays connected and keeps a fluid conversation going. Sometimes I will make a discovery in one painting and then apply it to a painting on another wall in the studio. I begin my work by amassing source material. I have collected thousands of images, consisting of art historical images, my own photography, textures, cartoons, texts, and everything in between.
So, how has your artistic technique developed throughout your career?
Until grad school, I worked exclusively in painting. My goal was to make expressive yet realistic, tightly rendered portraits of friends and family. When I began my Master’s at the Art Institute of Chicago, I decided to deconstruct and challenge this approach. I was delighted at how immediate, interactive, and thought-provoking the process was whilst in college.
What inspired you to interpret Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2020 collection in the November issue of Vogue Italia?
Ferdinando Verderi, the Creative Director of Vogue Italia, reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in taking on the Louis Vuitton project. I was so eager to challenge myself and create a body of work that represented the character of the Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2020 collection while embodying the spirit of my artistic practice. In a way, it felt like I was creating a portrait of the Louis Vuitton collection.
Let’s also talk about your collection with Moschino. How did you find the process of working with Jeremy Scott, and why do you think he was drawn to your work?
I am so inspired by the bold risks that Jeremy Scott takes with his work. His work is playful, approachable, elegant, and truly one-of-a-kind. To me, he is in the lineage of Andy Warhol. Moschino elevates the every-day into high fashion, and I seek a similar approach with my work.
After working with these prestigious European designers, do you plan to visit Europe after travel restrictions are lifted?
My hope is that the pandemic will be behind us in the near future; I have a solo show planned at Stems Gallery in Brussels that will open this summer, and would love to install and attend the opening.
You don’t only work with European designers, but European champagne brands too, after your work for Veuve Clicquot took over the walls of Williamsburg. How else has living in New York shaped your artistic technique?
Life in New York feels packed, fast, reactive, formative, sometimes overwhelming, yet contemplative. I apply this approach to my work.
Please tell us more about designing the album cover for Charli XCX last year. Did you enjoy working across both the art and fashion industries?
It was great to work with Charli XCX; to capture her vulnerability and bravery visually was truly a rewarding experience.
We’ve discussed several of your successful collaborations. Though, if you had to pinpoint a defining moment in your career, what would it be?
There have been pivotal moments throughout this journey, but one of the biggest highlights for me was meeting Mera and Don Rubell and having a studio visit that same day. It changed my life.
Finally, can you reveal any plans for the future?
Currently, I am working on a solo show that will open at Kravets Wehby Gallery in February. The work will feature eight paintings and a sculpture, all from a recent body of work that was published in the 2021 January edition of Vogue Italia. Each work celebrates the beauty of the animal world.
Keep up to date with Allison Zuckerman by following her Instagram @allisonzuckerman.
By Megan Slack– Contributing Editor at Magazine by Runway Gallery.