In its continuing legacy of artist-driven collaboration, Hennessy has welcomed Ryan McGinness to design its new Hennessy Very Special Limited Edition. The American artist, revered for his mastery of semiotics, was invited to share his visual expertise and join the prestigious ranks of prior collaborators such as Futura, Os Gemeos and Shepard Fairey.
To initiate the mutual exchange, the artist was invited to explore and reinterpret Hennessy’s Very Special bottle elements – including its iconic coat of arms. “The fact that Hennessy let me change the Hennessy family crest and traditional symbol speaks volumes about their openness to new ideas,” expresses the committed artist about the opportunity to merge his universe with the Maison’s.
Two main concepts drive the design of Ryan McGinness’ Hennessy Very Special Limited Edition bottle: the artist’s Black Holes body of work, and the inclusion of metadata about the bottle and its contents. “I felt the bottle was a perfect canvas to extend my Black Holes body of work. The inclusion of the metadata concept was also important for me because it’s an extension of what I’m already pursuing in my work”, explains the artist.
To Ryan McGinness, the metadata is the information about the information, a subtext offering another level of understanding: “In a museum, the metadata would be the captions on the walls describing the artwork. Here, the metadata is a set of icons I have designed to express very blunt information about alcohol content, quantity, and things like that. My idea for this project was to showcase it in a prominent way.”
As his personal design signature, Ryan McGinness has also included his captivating Radiating Eye symbol in both the center of the label and the coat of arms crest. “The Radiating Eye is a figurative drawing that expresses multiple vision, which I have used as a core element in all of my work. It is an autobiographical element that represents my interest in mind expansion,” describes the artist.
While Ryan McGinness’ powerful icons are at the heart of this exceptional collaboration, it is the intricate formations of his prestigious Black Holes patterns that truly captivate the eye with their fluorescent colors. “The previous Limited Edition designs all seem to be kind of dark, so my initial idea was to lighten it up. So I designed a very bright color palette to create a colorful label, and the result is this white label with bright fluorescent colors radiating from the center” explains the visual artist about his color palette choices. “What I hope is communicated in this label and in this artwork is a sense of an enlightenment.” McGinness nobly declares.
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