Hiroshi Sugimoto Designs Luxury Glasses Inspired by Marcel Duchamp

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Oculist Witness, eye glasses inspired by Duchamp designed for Selima Optique.

Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto has unveiled two new glasses designs created for luxury eyewear brand Selima Optique.

Sugimoto’s solo exhibition, “Lost Human Genetic Archive,” which opens today at Paris’s Palais de Tokyo, will mark the debut of the first of his Selima Optique designs, named Oculist Witness. The glasses, which will be produced in a limited edition of 25 pairs, will be available exclusively at Selima Optique, but Sugimoto will wear a prototype at this evening’s opening, offering preview of the project to his guests.

The unique spectacles will contain seven pairs of different colored lenses within each frame, a reflection of Sugimoto’s deep-seated interest in the mutable way in which we perceive memory and time. He was also inspired by Marcel Duchamp, whose experiments in optometry and visual perspective informed much of his Surrealist and Dadaist work. In particular, Sugimoto’s title, Oculist Witness, is taken from a suite of works by Duchamp, most notably the monumental The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (1915– 23), all of which feature the circular diagrams used in eye exams.

“When I was first introduced to [Sugimoto’s] work it was love at first sight,” said Selima Salaun, the company’s founder, in a press release. “Until now it has only been a dream, to see the world through Sugimoto’s eyes, but now we literally can.” The unconventional design has been brought to life by eyewear sculpture and artist Adam Mugavero. Marketed as a collector’s item, each pair of glasses will be packaged in a handcrafted wooden box personally designed by Sugimoto.

The collaboration is the brainchild of philanthropist and arts patron Liz Swig, who merges luxury products and artistic innovation by forging partnerships between brands and artists through her organization LizWorks. Selima Optique’s partnership with Sugimoto is only the first between the company and a contemporary artist, with more participating artists to be announced in the coming months.

Fashion and fine art have also combined forces in a Wangechi Mutu clothing line launched this week and a recently announced collaboration between Uniqlo and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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