He Lives! Everyone is Going Crazy for Sprouse

Stephen Sprouse was a downtown NYC media artist whose day-glo graffiti aesthetic touched the lives and street style sensibilities of everyone from Debbie Harry to Gwen Stefani to Marc Jacobs. He tragically died from lung cancer in 2004, but 5 years later, the Gotham art, fashion, and media crowd commemorate Sprouse’s colorful legacy in a series of upcoming collaborative projects. We walk you through them, one by one.

Tomorrow night, NYC’s Deitch Gallery unveils “Rock on Mars”, a Sprouse retrospective, opens and will feature many of Sprouse’s most notable pop-art highlights, including vivid works depicting a pantless Sid Vicious and Iggy Pop hoisted upon a crucifix. His infamous runway shows, pioneering for avant-garde NYC fashion and pivotal to a then upstart Marc Jacobs, will also be broadcast at the exhibition.

Speaking of Marc Jacobs, his special Stephen Sprouse for Louis Vuitton capsule collection hits LV stores tomorrow. Believe it or not — we can’t! — it’s been nine years since Sprouse & Jacobs graffiti & rose print monogrammed bags forever shook up the parochial reservation that had come to define pre-millenial Louis Vuitton. Now, Jacobs new Sprouse tribute collection includes graffiti-decorated T-shirts, leggings, jeans, footwear, outerwear, even an extremely limited edition skateboard. “I did my best, in a very first degree way, to do what I think Stephen would have done,” Jacobs said in a statement.

Then there is the The Stephen Sprouse Book, published by Rizzoli, which hits select Louis Vuitton stores tomorrow and major retailer’s bookshelves on January 13th. Divided into 15 era-defining, chronological chapters, the book comes in four distinct, radioactive-hued jackets.

Finally, Le Book, aka every media gazer and jetsetter’s Bible, is going all out for the dearly departed art provocateur: they dress up their current New York 2009 guide in the resplendent patterns of Sprouse’s printed iconography. The reference book will be available for purchase this in March at MoMA Design stores throughout the United States.