An artful appreciation of tequila

Gabriel Orozco’s skull-emblazoned limited-edition bottles

Gabriel Orozco and Casa Dragones limited-edition tequila, $1,850
Gabriel Orozco and Casa Dragones limited-edition tequila, $1,850

Gabriel Orozco’s strikingblack-and-white chequered skull Black Kites became one of 2011’s mosthauntingly memorable images. Posters emblazoned with its playfully gothicsculptural form decorated the subways and streets of New York, Basel, Londonand Paris – announcing the Mexican contemporary artist’s retrospective asit moved between MoMA, the Kunstmuseum, Tate Modern and the Centre Pompidou.

One staunch supporter of the witty andweird show was luxury tequila brand Casa Dragones, which has a history ofchampioning the work of artists and galleries. Following the exhibition’sfinale, it collaborated with Orozco on a series of 400 limited-editionbottles, engraved with the graphic-print skull motif and signed,numbered and dated by the artist. Just in time for Christmas 2012, they are nowavailable to buy in the UK, Mexico and the United States for $1,850 each.

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As collectable presents go, this oneticks all the boxes, and more. Firstly, it’s a sculptural edition by “oneof the most influential artists of this decade, and probably the next onetoo” (according to contemporary art curator Francesco Bonami). Orozco hasshown 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 listgoes on… Secondly, artist editions don’t really get more fun than those filledwith tequila, especially Blue Agave JovenTequila that’s handcrafted insmall batches in the town of Tequila itself.

Subtle and sophisticated, provocativeand playful, the bottle substitutes the original skull’s black-and-whitesquares for frosted and clear glass – the grid representing rationality and theskull uncertainty. Meanwhile, the hot turquoise box sings with all the vibrancyof Mexican vitality and vigour.

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