Gabriel Orozco’s striking black-and-white chequered skull Black Kites became one of 2011’s most hauntingly memorable images. Posters emblazoned with its playfully gothic sculptural form decorated the subways and streets of New York, Basel, London and Paris – announcing the Mexican contemporary artist’s retrospective as it moved between MoMA, the Kunstmuseum, Tate Modern and the Centre Pompidou.
One staunch supporter of the witty and weird show was luxury tequila brand Casa Dragones, which has a history of championing the work of artists and galleries. Following the exhibition’s finale, it collaborated with Orozco on a series of 400 limited-edition bottles, engraved with the graphic-print skull motif and signed, numbered and dated by the artist. Just in time for Christmas 2012, they are now available to buy in the UK, Mexico and the United States for $1,850 each.
As collectable presents go, this one ticks all the boxes, and more. Firstly, it’s a sculptural edition by “one of the most influential artists of this decade, and probably the next one too” (according to contemporary art curator Francesco Bonami). Orozco has shown at Venice Biennale not once but three times (in 1993, 2003 and 2005), Documenta (in 1997 and 2002), the Whitney Biennial in 1997 and, well, the list goes on… Secondly, artist editions don’t really get more fun than those filled with tequila, especially Blue Agave JovenTequila that’s handcrafted in small batches in the town of Tequila itself.
Subtle and sophisticated, provocative and playful, the bottle substitutes the original skull’s black-and-white squares for frosted and clear glass – the grid representing rationality and the skull uncertainty. Meanwhile, the hot turquoise box sings with all the vibrancy of Mexican vitality and vigour.