Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change
Post #1299 • February 20, 2009, 9:21 AM • 85 Comments
The grander prizes in the world of art don't much entice me. I know who has won them over the last few decades, and I don't consider myself even to be working on the same problem in many cases. But this morning I found something to covet when I learned from Artsjournal that a playful little drawing by Lucian Freud now adorns Château Mouton Rothschild 2006.
The commission, for Mouton's 2006 vintage, was announced yesterday at the opening of an exhibition of previous labels at the Wolfsonian-Florida International University, on view through March 8. Château Mouton Rothschild has featured an original artwork every year since 1945; previous artists include Miro, Chagall, Braque, Picasso, Dali, Warhol, Bacon, Haring, and Balthus.
And many other worthies besides. Oh, this I would quite enjoy. Although no oenophile like some of this blog's regular readers, when I want to alter my state chemically, I choose wine. We've made a habit of dropping by the local wine shop once a week and it certainly introduces a disproportionate amount of civilization into the house for the price, even on our limited budget. I learned to drink in Italy, which means I only drink when I'm eating, and I like how wine interacts with food, especially cheese-laden Italian food. (Cocktails do nothing for me, I've found, with one exception - bloody marys. Especially now with the easy availability of pepper vodkas. Yum.) Consequently, I don't know French wines well, but we'll just have to drink our way to familiarity.
The article doesn't mention it, but Freud based his drawing on an early surrealist work (for which I can't come up with better than this for an online image). The lighthearted approach seems traditional, or at least precedented, as the Raymond Savignac label of 1999 indicates. Even the 1990 Francis Bacon looks pleasingly silly.
I haven't felt this inspired to plug away in the studio in weeks. A label on Château Mouton Rothschild! What glory! It will likely never come to pass, but at least the effort to get familiar with the subject will be pleasantly expended.