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The Big Blue

Artist Aurore de la Morinerie, who illustrated the new Louis Vuitton Travel Book, finds refuge in drawing nature.

One of the illustrations in the book (c) Aurore de la Morinerie/Louis Vuitton

Abstract yet evocative, Aurore de la Morinerie’s latest artwork for Louis Vuitton’s Travel Book Series is an immersive journey into the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Like a deep-sea creature, Aurore de la Morinerie dives into the Mediterranean: from the abyss to the surface, she depicts the inner beauty of the blue kingdom. “Drawing and nature are both places for silence and contemplation, where I’ve found refuge since my childhood,” says the artist and illustrator, who was born in Brittany where the sea is never far. If nature is a common thread running through her work, she also likes to take black and white photographs: integral to her practice of drawing, they not only serve as preliminary guidelines but highlight a certain form of abstraction.

One of the illustrations in the book (c) Aurore de la Morinerie/Louis Vuitton

This inclination for all things abstract can be tied to de la Morinerie’s passion for Chinese painting and calligraphy: during her studies and formative years, Chinese landscape painter Shitao (1642–1707), played a significant role. His manual of aesthetics and philosophy inspired her vision, ideas, and gestures: since then, ink and brushes have been her tools of discovery. Although the stroke may be quickly drawn, it is the result of a lengthy maturation process, as if the hand had conceptualized the gesture before putting brush to paper.

As for the visible world, she strips it bare to reveal its essential elements: she hints at a silhouette, suggest a landscape or wave, introduces water animals like spirits. The movement she creates is powerful and liberating, as if she conveyed the power of the elements in her drawing. Here, the sea, the wind and a gush of oxygen running through the water.

One of the illustrations in the book (c) Aurore de la Morinerie/Louis Vuitton

Her natural talent brought her to collaborate with Azzedine Alaïa, Paris’ Palais Galliera and other luxury houses; contribute to T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar and AD Magazine; exhibit at the London Design Museum, Museo ABC in Madrid and galleries in Tokyo and Munich.

Like her entire body of work, de la Morinerie has a wandering spirit and an elegant appearance. Yes, most of the time, her ink-stained hands speak for her: she enjoys exploring new places – in real life or on the paper. Her sketchbook and camera are always close to hand: each departure offers the promise of new discoveries, of which this voyage deep into the Mediterranean Sea’s inexhaustible depths is a fine example.

Louis Vuitton's new Travel Book, Mediterranean Sea, can be purchased here.