Chris Soal and his Christian Dior Collab
- The youngest Artist to collaborate in the Lady Dior Art Project
- London show ensures Selection
- Inspirations – unconventional found objects
- Reinterpreting a legendary bag
As South Africa fast becomes a juggernaut of African creativity and imagination, the country can now lay claim to having the youngest artist to collaborate in the Lady Dior Art Project. Chris Soal is one of 10 artists from around the world, hand-picked to reinterpret the legendary Lady Dior bag as a unique work of art in their individual style.
It was Chris Soal’s buzz-generating 2019 show in London that grabbed the attention of the Dior team when featured in Forbes Magazine. “It has been an unbelievable experience, one I certainly didn’t expect to appear on my horizon, especially not at this (early) phase of my career,” said Soal.
In his sculptural pieces, Chris uses unconventional found objects such as toothpicks and bottle caps in conjunction with concrete and other industrial materials. Chris explains: “As an art student, I didn’t have resources to utilise more traditional, and rather expensive art forms like oil-painting, so I looked to what was in my everyday environment and what was in surplus. We often take the accessibility of these materials for granted, instead of asking: ‘What are the conditions that allowed for this material to be present in such abundance in our society?’. I’m often hesitant to say that I chose a particular material – it mostly feels like the material chooses me. There’s always a relationship with my body, a way of fiddling with the material (in the case of the toothpicks and the bottle tops) and the way the material imprints itself on me, both physically and conceptually. Not only are these materials readily accessible, but they’re embedded within the larger social fabric, which allows me to engage with concerns that I feel are significant to this time and place.”
The Making of the Bag:
It was a year-long process of what Soal call “keeping a very big secret and liaising with the Salon” in order to bring the three Lady Dior bags to life. “It was daunting to work with an international house with a 75-year legacy. I simply tried to look at my own work, trust my instincts and bring what I felt only I could bring to the collaboration,” he says.
“When two members of the Salon flew out from Paris in February 2020 to show me the range of samples created off the initial sketches we’d provided, I genuinely felt like I was transported to my childhood, when I played with Lego and the possibilities of any gesture were limitless.”
The bags, in three iterations, are limited to an edition of 100 each – and they are almost all sold out.
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