6 artists who brought out the best art in wine
Few beverages are as closely associated with the history of mankind as wine, and even less so with the history of art. It is possible to find frescoes from ancient Egypt depicting everyday scenes associated with the world of wine (such as the treading of grapes). In ancient Greece, there were sculptures and paintings depicting scenes of grape harvesting, as well as a multitude of works dedicated to Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest and wine, the inspirer of ritual madness and ecstasy.
For centuries, grapes and wine have posed countless times for painters and sculptors who have depicted them in a multitude of forms and tastes. Artists such as Rubens, Titian, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Velázquez, Goya, Van Gogh, Picasso, Andy Warhol and Botero have been inspired by grapes, wine and all its symbolism throughout history. In the Museum Vivanco of Wine Culture you can see some of their works.
" If you drink water, you can never produce a work of art", said the Greek poet Cretinus. Today this statement would probably be questioned by some of the artists I will introduce you to below. The fact is that the painters we will talk about today do not use wine to drink it, but to paint their pictures!
How about a portrait with a vintage feel?
Filipino-Canadian artist Leanne Laine decided to make a self-portrait of herself by painting her silhouette with a vintage look, using a technique she calls "Silhouwine" ("Siluvino", from "silhouette" and "wine"). She did it just for fun, and then posted the image on her Facebook page. He soon began to receive a multitude of messages from people who wanted to have the same kind of portrait done and were willing to pay for it. Given the unexpected success, Leanne decided to start taking portraits of her clients following the maturation process you can see in the image below.
Given the success of the wine theme, Leanne decided to produce several series of paintings linked to the world of wine. This is how the series "Wine & Food", "Women in Wine" and "Vinogamy" came about.
When wine becomes paint
What is it that unites wine lovers and artists? Wine, of course! So-called "Wine Art " does not refer to the art of drinking wine, but to the art of making one of the most unpredictable forms of art out of wine that one can imagine. Serbian artist Sanja Janković develops creative skills through the artistic practice of painting and illustrating using wine as paint. "Paintings [with wine] are different and intriguing not only because of the wide variety of motifs developed throughout the history of art, but also because the fermentation and oxidation of the paint [in this case wine] continues, causing the work to undergo a slight colour transition from red and purple to sepia tones, with a limited but beautiful colour range that no other pigment can imitate." This process is also known as "ageing", because of its analogy to the precious liquid in grapes." Says the artist on the Bored Panda website.
Another Canadian artist, Melissa Proudlock, is also an unconditional fan of using wine as paint. This is the colouring she uses in all her paintings. However, the artist states that she only uses wine that is "not suitable for drinking", once it is already in the vinegar stage, as well as its lees (the sediment found at the bottom of the wine tanks). With it she creates a variety of different paintings, from characters from horror films to portraits that pay homage to famous musicians such as David Bowie and the Beatles.
Another artist, Jennifer Macfarlane, this time from the wine-producing land of Cape Town, has also joined the trend of using wine to decorate canvases. The South African artist has participated in the festival (similar to the one organised by the Murcian Association of Art Critics) promoted every year by the Tokara winery under the name "Wine Made Art". With this event the winery celebrates the launch of its new wines while inviting artists to paint exquisite works of art using the winery's own wine.
Wine and pareidolia
Have you ever heard of pareidolia? Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon where a vague and random stimulus (usually an image) is mistakenly perceived as a recognisable shape, for example when you think you recognise a human face on the front of a car, or when you see animals in the clouds. There is an artist who claims to experience this phenomenon in stains, including brown and wine stains!
This is the Italian artist Carolina Maggio. She was inspired to develop this technique while travelling through the Amazon rainforest in Central America. As she was carrying only a backpack, she had to leave all her paintings behind. One day, after many nights in the jungle of Guatemala attending ayahuasca ceremonies (whose name in Quechua means "Vine of the Soul"), she felt a strong urge to paint, although she had no material with her.
He was offered a coffee to share with the shaman and his family and accidentally spilled a small drop on the wooden table. Immediately he began to see images appearing in the drop of coffee, and that is where his curious technique came from!
Art is not only made with liquids
For anyone who likes to accumulate wine corks to reuse them in upcycling projects, you will surely like to meet Scott Gundersen. This American artist learned the value of not wasting on trips to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007. It was then that he thought of giving wine corks a second (artistic) use. Today the artist uses the different shades of the stains on the thousands of corks he collects to create surprising effects of light and shadow in his paintings, many of them in the form of portraits. If you want to know more about the works of this artist, you can consult an article we wrote about him. here.