Artistic Time

By Noemie Hamon

Watches are a wonderful accessory that we wear on a daily basis not just to tell time, but also to make a statement about who we are and our personal style. A watch can say so much about what we love, from the colours we enjoy all the way to the unique lifestyle statements we want to share. So what if a watch could take the idea one step further? What if you could wear the Artists you love on a watch? You would not wear the real masterpiece of your favourite artist but you could wear an artificial one. Today you have the option to wear accessories, more precisely watches, with the designs of your favourite artist. Read more about it in Artistic Time.

So your wrist can house a watch with your favourite artist, but where is a good place to explore artists? MoMA is the acronym of the Museum of Modern Art located in the Midtown neighbourhood of Manhattan, New York on 53rd Street. It was founded in 1929 by Mrs Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Lillie P. Bliss and Cornelius J. Sullivan. The first idea of the creators was to build a museum that would challenge the conservative policies of pre-existing American museums and which was an open space for modern art creators.

Nowadays, the museum is composed of six levels in which visitors can see the masterpieces: films, illustrated books, drawing with architecture and photography, paintings and sculptures. Some of the world’s most famous paintings are on display there. These include The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, The Bather by Paul Cézanne and Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso.

On March 4th 2021, MoMA and Swatch renewed their partnership for a new collection of original and unique watches inspired by the permanent Art collection of the museum.

Swatch x MoMA

Henri Rousseau is one of the numerous artists whose works are exhibited at the MoMA. He is a French self-taught artist known for his paintings. He was considered to be one of the naïve painters, those who broke the rules and did not respect the real perspectives or colours. It gave a childish side to the painting.

The Dream by Henri Rousseau

The first watch presented is inspired by The Dream by Henri Rousseau. This is an oil on canvas that was painted in 1910. You can see a woman lying in the forest, stretching out her arm toward a lion and another person carefully hidden in the background. If you look at the watch, you can see at the back the lion sitting in tropical surroundings.

Everyone knows the name Vincent Van Gogh he is one of the most renowned painters the world has carried. This Dutch artist born in France was part of the post-impressionism movement. During the 1880s Van Gogh’s paintings were not famous, it is only in the 1980s that more than 120,000 people went to the MoMA to see his work. His portraits and spiral paintings are known all over the world now.

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

So, of course, there is a watch in the collection that celebrates the masterpiece The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. Made in 1889, the painting represents the view Van Gogh had from his room in the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole monastery in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. You can find the whirlpools so characteristic of the painting in the Swatch watch.

Maybe your personal statement would be the artist Tadanori Yokoo. A Japanese graphic designer. He was born in Nishiwaki in 1936. Most of his work is composed of paintings, posters, books and collages. He is creating pop art masterpieces with Japanese influences.

The next watch is inspired by The City and Design, The Wonders of Life on Earth, Isamu Kurita. This silkscreen by Tadanori Yokoo links love, humour and politic with a pop art influence. On the watch, you can find the pop art style.

New York, by Tadanori Yokoo, is the next inspiration. This offset lithograph dates back to 1968, it represents a kaleidoscopic image of New York and the Statue of Liberty. The watch is based on the same principle, there is the statue on the dial.

Known for his importance in the abstraction movement, Piet Mondrian is one of the famous artists whose work is exhibited at the MoMA. He was a Dutch painter who liked to paint outside. His style evolved during his life regarding the painters he met, like Vincent Van Gogh or George Braque. Most of his work is in an abstract style.

The penultimate watch is inspired by a 1914 work by Piet Mondrian: Composition in Oval with Color Planes 1. This oil on canvas represents how each piece of the design can form a whole masterpiece put together. It can also be seen as Mondrian’s representation of the universe: a building, a sum of individual parts. The watch’s design is based on this geometrical artwork.

Gustav Klimt is the last artist Swatch used for inspiration. He was an Austrian painter who was part of the Art Nouveau movement. The background of his paintings is often painted with a gold colour and a lot of details.

The last watch is influenced by Gustav Klimt’s creation: Hope, II. The canvas of this artwork is full of oil, gold, and platinum. It represents a pregnant woman praying with three other women at her feet, behind the stomach of the pregnant woman a skull is hiding. The multitude of colours and the designs emerging from it inspired the watch design. If you look carefully at the bottom of the wristband, there is one of the three praying women.

Finally, Swatch and MoMA have created a new way to love art. For those who would like a completely personalized watch, Swatch has created a platform on which you can choose one of the designs proposed and personalize your watch with it: Swatch x You. New designs are available as the artist Beatriz Milhazes brought her contribution with three new works.

Art has always influenced our creations, you can find beauty in each thing that surrounds you. Our clothes, shoes, glasses, jewellery, watches… everything is made to be beautiful, unique and loved. This artificial masterpiece on your wrist is a new way to be unique. A collaboration between renowned art creations and watches is an opportunity for you to stand out. Let’s be unique!

You can find the Swatch watches here.

You can discover the Museum of Modern Art on their website here.

If you enjoyed reading Artistic Time you could read Roofy Garden.

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