The idea for a motif can be tricky. Why a pattern? The reasons why and how it looks can seem quite remote from each other. How to ensure their match so that the right illustration serves the right intention?
The creation of Eau Plurielle is as a linkeage – it establishes a relationship. On one hand, just like a delta where two rivers meet, it’s the meeting between the ivy and the rose (ivy is lierre in French). Both belong to very different worlds, olfactory and symbolical. In the history of diptyque’s eau de toilettes, rose and ivy were always set apart from one another.
On the other hand, Eau Plurielle was thought to bring together all the many uses of an eau de toilette, be it on the skin, the clothes, the folded bed sheets piled in the cupboard, or simply the air in the room. Of course, both these bonds harmonize perfectly as do the vegetal tones of ivy’s and rose’s fragrances which have properties that serve as many uses as the directions given by the compass rose, a figure on maps. It signifies a plural (plurielle in French).
Illustrations were always a diptyque signature, especially for labels: the house was founded by three artists. The packaging design for Eau Plurielle had to echo back to the original graphic labels of Eau de Lierre and Eau Rose. Plus this linkage was also extended to the way contemporary art usually proceeds by mixing styles, historical periods, categorizations, cultural fields and hierarchy. Today’s art mostly thinks of the past as a stock of data, where it can chose whatever is needed for its aesthetic or conceptual purpose, as if in a candy shop or a large store. Contemporary art often twists, diverts and recycles the past. It was with this in mind that diptyque gave designer Florence Bamberger the two original labels, to allow a new design by reinterpreting, revisiting and even distorting.
So the artist used mixing treatments and stylizations inspired from graffiti culture, with a touch taken from comic books, and applying a two-color basic aspect bleached out with dots of splattered water, so it sure is a plural illustration of linkage.
By this association of ideas, it now seems appropriate to pay tribute to composer Morton Feldman who transposed the patterns from a Turkish carpet into a musical piece called Why patterns? in 1978.