Luxury labels love non-traditional artists. Whether it’s Coach collaborating with Gary Baseman or Hublot working with tattoo legend Maxim Buchi, high end brands have embraced Street Art because it lends them Street cred. And for the artists, working with big brands makes their work more accessible to a wider audience (you can’t just up and take a tagged subway train home with you).
For brands, collectors and creators, collaboration is a win-win-win situation. For the last six years, the makers of premium cognac Hennessy have been supporting the arts with Hennessy Very Special Limited Edition bottles designed by Kaws, Futura, Shepard Fairey and Scott Campbell.
And in September, Hennessy threw a party at the Globe and Mail event space on King Street East in Toronto to celebrate their newest art partner, JonOne.
State of the Art
Born John Andrew Perello, JonOne came up through New York City’s golden age of graffiti. In 1987, he moved to Paris where he began to show his oversized canvases in galleries. While JonOne’s work now commands big bucks (his work has commanded up to $35,000 at auction), he has stayed true to his b-boy roots.
Hennessy also has deep ties to hip hop culture. There are over 1,000 songs by such famed artists as Notorious BIG, 2Pac, Kanye West, Rick Ross, Nas, Dr. Dre and Toronto’s very own Drake that reference the fine, brown liquor.
In the beginning, the four elements of hip hop were the MC, the DJ, B-Boy (break dancer) and the Graffiti artist. All had a performative element aspect.
Dressed in head-to-toe white, JonOne created a large, on-the-spot live action painting. And then, when he was as splattered as his canvas, guests were invited to get in touch with their own creativity by tagging miniature paper subway cars. And of course, there was plenty of crazy, cognac-inspired cocktails to sample while DJs spun sweet beats.
But the best thing about the JonOne Hennessy Very Special Limited Edition bottle is that it lets collectors with limited wall space bring more art into their lives!
Check out the gallery below provided courtesy of Hennessy and Photographer Pedro Marques: