Beer bottles and beer cans of today are movable wall spaces. Artwork on beer is art disseminated to a broad audience. Sightsee at any well stocked contemporary beer aisle. There’s a landscape of diversity in beer labeling. There are tight and sharp graphic arts on beer labels. There are illustrations and drawings of all sorts. In the spirit of vying for attention, there are evermore snappy titles and creative fonts. In a neighboring community’s very modern Jewels grocery store, I stand in its beer aisle, studying the beer labels on the shelved six-packs like I’m looking at work in a museum, even though in the end I’ll just get what I always get from the coolers. I’m a beer label art fan.
I have a solid inventory of quart sized latex house paints used in past pieces. I recently learned the paint goes down thick and opaque on repurposed cardboard. During January I gave myself an assignment: conceptualize a diverse six pack of beer labels, and then paint them on repurposed cardboard. Each label needed to be original in composition, name, and overall concept. I drafted compositions in my sketchbook.
Each finished piece is conceptualized as a can – apparently not everyone gets that – and each label is designed to consume nearly the entire real estate on the can’s face. The first label has a local focus – it refers to restive feelings about Indiana sand filling our local Kankakee River and I think it would be excellent to brew and send to the parties upstream in Indiana who are most responsible for the sand we’re experiencing downstream in Illinois;
the second label originates from articles about energy appearing in recent National Geographic magazines;
the third label is latex atop a map of Scandinavia and it’s meant to be an iconic beer consumed by affluent travelers as they collaborate in resort bars across the globe;
the fourth label is because I’ve always liked the word Heliocentric;
the fifth label involves a concise symbolist representation of the position known to the archetypal common citizen today;
and Duchamp’s Fountain ends it, because that 1917 piece is awesome in every way – a urinal is literally the starting point for modern art. Seriously, that’s awesome.
The photos below shows the size of the actual cardboard pieces and how they looked with my other work in a very excellent space during the David Bradley Warehouse Show on February 5th.