At Louis Vuitton, Ruben Toledo Talks Art–And Love

At Louis Vuitton, Ruben Toledo Talks Art–And Love Forbes Images

Ruben Toledo loves a good sandwich.

“Put anything between two slices of bread and I’m in heaven,” he told guests at a Louis Vuitton Art Talk last night in SoHo.

The Cuban-American artist wasn’t at the Vuitton boutique to talk about food–though he approaches the art of the sandwich much the same way he approaches watercolor: by instinct. Rather, Toledo joined host Sally Singer, editor-in-chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, to talk about what drives his work.

“It always comes back to humanity–people are always interesting to me,”  Toledo said.

The night was a chance for art patrons, Vuitton clients and friends of the Toledos (Isabel Toledo is an internationally known fashion designer) to see original works by the Havana-born, Jersey-raised artist, all under the auspicious of Louis Vuitton. It was the second such event in recent months–Xavier Veilhan, who installed purple balloon mobiles in Versailles, spoke at the Vuitton boutique on Fifth Avenue last December.

The brand has a history of collaborating with well-respected artists; events like this provide a way to curate, promote and align itself with well-respected talent. Most recently, Marc Jacobs engaged Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince and Stephen Sprouse to work with the Vuitton monogram for things like bags, window displays and art installations. Peter Marino, the architect famous for his black leather chaps and caps, has worked on several LVMH stores.

So last night between sips of champagne and bites of tiny Cuban sandwiches guests looked at sketches, drawings, watercolor paintings and sculptures, most of them from the the illustrations Toledo has created for the Louis Vuitton City Guide series that he started in 1998. (Click through the slide show to see more from last night.) More than 100 cities have been featured in the books; Toledo has been to most of them.

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