Hennessy proves it's anything but old-fashioned
By Jo Buitendach - Aug 17th 2018, 14:22
There’s a good chance that you think of cognac as the tipple of fusty old men in wood-panelled hunting lodges. If cognac brand Hennessy is anything to go by, however, you may have to reconsider your position on the century-old liquor.
In fact, it seems the French liquor house is determined to prove that the region-specific brandy varietal is anything but old-fashioned.
Since 2011 it has collaborated with eight of the world’s most iconic urban artists (think graffiti, street art and tattoo artists) on its Hennessy Very Special (VS) Limited Edition range of bottles and murals. Some of the big names it has roped in so far include American Shepard Fairey — the man who designed the Barack Obama "Hope" poster — and his fellow Stateside creatives JonOne and Futura.
Hennessy’s latest collaboration is with Portuguese street artist Vhils. To mark this match-up, Vhils has just finished producing one of his signature artworks in Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct.
The artist started out as an old-school graffiti writer on the streets of Lisbon, but in recent years has found fame on a much grander scale. This is thanks in no small part to iconic street art mystery man (or is that woman?) Banksy — who chose him to exhibit at a London festival in 2008.
Vhils’ work isn’t what you might expect; he is passionate about exposing a city’s history. He does this using a mallet, chisel, drill bits and a jackhammer to break into walls and create unforgettable images by uncovering historic layers of paint, plaster and dirt. By exposing these layers, he aims to tell the "city’s history, make the invisible, visible and hopefully make us think about our public space".
For the Joburg launch of his Hennessy collaboration, Vhils made a large-scale portrait of SA singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka. It looks down from the top of a building, over the garden of the Cosmopolitan Hotel on Commissioner Street — a city icon that dates back to 1899.
Having already created murals in New York and Chicago as part of the same project, he wanted to continue with a theme of portraying artists who are also known for their social activism. Chaka Chaka was an obvious choice for him, not just for her role as a Unicef ambassador but also for her continued work with her own Princess of Africa Foundation. The singer aside, Vhils tells the FM he is seriously impressed by Johannesburg, calling it an "incredible city with a vibrant local art community".
For cognac fans looking to add to their collections of the golden liquid, the Vhils VS Limited Edition bottle is on point as far as his trademark method of understanding history and layers goes. To create the design, he visited the Cognac region in France and looked back through the brand’s extensive archives and historic graphics — giving them a contemporary, edgy spin. Who would have thought?
SAFW competitions offers entry into fashion industry
19/07/2019 - 08:41
It opened the door for David Tlale to showcase his designs at New York Fashion Work, Mmuso Maxwell to supply his garments to retail giant Woolworths and Clinton Lotter to take his work to the UK. Now, South African Fashion Week (SAFW) is once again looking to grow the fashion and creative industry by opening it to emerging designers.
China's thirst for cognac helps Remy Cointreau top profit forecast
07/06/2019 - 10:02
Remy Cointreau handed investors a special dividend payout after reporting a stronger-than-expected 14% rise in annual operating profit, helped by cost cuts and robust demand for its premium cognacs in China.
Autograph Gin wins Best Gin in Africa award
02/05/2019 - 13:56
The International Gin Guide Award, released their awards for 2019 on the 30th of April 2019.
Egg hunting just got more fun for adults with the introduction of Sugarbird® Gin Eggs
11/04/2019 - 14:59
Made by entrepreneurial spirited local gin brand Sugarbird®, the Sugarbird Gin Eggs is the brainchild of co-owners Nzeka Biyela and Rob Heyns.
Tougher taxation needed to tackle alcohol abuse
02/04/2019 - 10:54
The SA branch of the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (Saapa) urges the government to follow Grieve Chelwa and Corné van Walbeek’s suggestion to review the alcohol tax regime (“SA Ranks Sixth Globally as a Nation of Drinkers”, March 4). Beer is cheaper than a loaf of bread or a litre of milk in SA!