André worked around the idea of growth, with what he calls Gucci’s “big bang” (the elevator) at the centre. “I looked at how venation patterns happen in leaves and I imagined how the artistic direction of Guccio Gucci acted as a foundation for everything that was created along the years: a structure that would support the entire Gucci heritage that is then represented as feathers or fireworks around the tree-like growth pattern,” he says.
The technicality behind the work hints at the same story and ideology. “This piece is created using a very huge amount of circles that follow clear rules of growth; the same rules dictate which colour the circles should be,” he says. “The final structure then glows while the pulse is going through all those circles in order. The wave goes up, like an elevator would do.”
Other artists tapped into different aspects of Gucci’s heritage, many of which overlap with the physical Cosmos installation. Christodoulou’s work takes inspiration from horses in motion (Cosmos has a room encircled by virtual galloping ones); Rayner looked to the Garden of Eden as a foundational theme (Cosmos in London features an all-white representation in a nod to the brand’s floral motifs). “[Rayner] developed a unique technique when creating “Eden Fresco”, that emulates and recreates the appearance of time-worn fresco surfaces purely using code,” Sanchez says.
The blockchain-based exhibition isn’t the first tech tie-in for Cosmos. Earlier this month, Gucci brought the 180 The Strand exhibition into the metaverse for Gucci Cosmos Land, which took place in The Sandbox. This auction takes Cosmos’s Web3 alliance a step further, reflecting Gucci’s continued commitment to blockchain-based fashion and art.
It is also not the first time Gucci has played on forward-looking technology to harken back to its beginnings. In 2022, it opened Gucci Vault Land, also in The Sandbox, as a landing space for all of Gucci’s “multiverse” and Web3 efforts. It incorporated vintage pieces as well as gamified education about the maison.
André’s work reflects on how a single idea can evolve into a deep, complex and interconnected structure. Like Gucci Cosmos and ‘Parallel Universes’, it is a comment on the evolution of the house of Gucci — and on the current moment’s emergent technologies. “How this specific moment feels,” he says. “How it feels obvious a posteriori that this was ‘it’. But how did it feel at the start?”
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