MASSADA // Inspired By French Art
MASSADA’S French Connection
“We are only travelers with a dream of reaching a goal called understanding.”
It’s not a secret: The two founders behind eyewear brand MASSADA have a burning passion for art. For this reason, Kate and Chris keep a hands-on approach when it comes to everything creative inside their company. They continue to find constant inspiration from fine works of art and paintings. At the same time, the two are sponsors of a variety of projects in which artists from several disciplines are invited to participate in a collaborative creative process. The main goal lies with pooling diverse resources in order to attain results, which in turn stimulate a vivid discourse between creative individuals and observers with an interest in art. What’s more, creating excitement for their projects and pushing the limits of human imagination is also part of the mission for the founders MASSADA.
In their current collection, titled French Connections, the independent eyewear brands draws inspiration from famous paintings from French masters and offers new interpretations of these works. The project conjoins 26 paintings of French artists – or artists residing in France – into a collage with a modern touch. The resulting artwork draws intellectual references that may only become apparent at second or third glance, while the essential inspirations are visible at first sight.
We see Van Gogh’s ‘Potato Eaters’ seated around a roulette table, as one of the protagonists from Paul Gauguin’s ‘The Fruit Harvest’ offers casino chips. All the while, one of the female ‘Potato Eaters’ is wiping her mouth with the coattails of Louis XIV. As a backdrop, the famous female private parts from Gustave Courbet’s ‘Origin of the World’ are nestled within a mountainous region without drawing much attention amidst the rolling hills and Hubert Robert’s ‘Ruins in Nîmes’. We also see the ‘Absinthe; man and woman by Edgar Degas planted at a table, with him gazing a longing glance into the distance while she takes a photo of the macaron on her plate with a pink smartphone. And we suddenly find ourselves meeting the famous grin of Joseph Ducreux, except that he is now wearing eyeglasses (you can guess by which brand). The overall result is an artefact that plays with compositions and perspectives, representing the French royalism but also the republican system with a barrage of heady references, both historic and critical of modern-day society.
Based on this massive work of art, MASSADA has developed the French Connections collection with its five models »L’État C’est Moi«, »Origin of the World«, »La Liberté«, »The Swing« and »Fruit Gathering«. Much like paintings tend to stand for themselves, each of these frames makes its own statement, aimed at a specific wearer. For instance, the Louis XIV-inspired »L’État C’est Moi« is made for everyone who believe in themselves and their success, just like the 17th century Sun King of France. The message behind Courbet’s provocative »Origin of the World« painting is: You are at the center of your universe, you set the standards. Meanwhile, the »La Liberté« frame wants to remind us that we need to fight for our freedom, as it is not to be taken for granted. All models in the collection are explicitly based on certain paintings, while each one is also crafted by hand in Japan from a variety of exclusive materials including titanium, 24K and 18K gold. The frames are also fitted with special temples in the image of Jean-Hans Arps sculptures. Overall, this ambitious and reference-heavy collection is once again proof that MASSADA is equally at home in the eyewear fashion universe and the art world, while being able to elevate the two to new heights.
Find out more about the Brand Massada.
Brand Profile at Spectr.