Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sticker Shock

Basil Christensen is a highly talented ex-Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand creative who just filled me in on a very cool project that he’s been working on for his winery, the Christensen Estate.

In order to combine his two passions of wine and art, Basil came up with a truly inspired idea to produce the most extraordinary wine labels you’ve ever seen for the winery’s first vintage: the 2005 Christensen Estate Waiheke Island Merlot.

What’s so special about these wine labels? Well, they aren’t wine labels at all; they’re sections of an enormous 5 meter painting that has been cut up into 1,000 wine-label-sized pieces.

The hardest part of this venture, according to Basil, was convincing an artist to create an enormous work of art, and then cut it to pieces. Fortunately, Karl Maughan understood Basil’s vision and agreed to collaborate with him on the project. Maughan was excited by the prospect of reassembling a painting into an entirely different work of art. (Basil lucked out, as a normal painting that size by Maughan would go for over $60,000!)

Karl’s painting consisted of at least 15,000 of his trademark, hand-painted rhododendron flowers in vibrant reds and purples. You can check out a video of Maughan working on the painting here.

If you’re interested in picking up some of these one-of-a-kind bottles, I recommend you get a box of six. If you do, all six bottles will bear a matching strip from the painting. Also, the box is signed by Maughan, and the set includes a limited-edition print of the original painting. It’s a breathtaking piece of art – particularly after a few glasses of Merlot!