Artists tend to be inspired by many different things, but there’s definitely one reoccurring theme we’ve noticed: booze. They love a good liquor and choose to show their admiration in a variety of ways. One recent artistic tribute comes from 25-year-old New York artist, Andres Gallardo Jr. in the form of custom-made whiskey bottles.
Gallardo hosted an art show last month called Words in Whiskey and he focused on the relationship between spirits and writers. What’s the relationship? Well, in his poetry-reading travels, he began to notice that a lot of writers enjoyed proclaiming their love for whiskey in their work. At the same time, Gallardo is also a huge whiskey fan and had some empty whiskey bottles hanging around his house that were begging for a makeover. Being the artist that he is, he put two and two together and the rest is art history.
Gallardo’s show featured 15 custom-made whiskey bottles that were painted with classic and contemporary writers’ portraits and with words from their poems, books, and essays. For example, the legendary Mark Twain’s portrait is accompanied by his immortal words, “Too much of anything is bad, but too much whiskey is barely enough.” Other bottles featured E.E. Cummings, Aja Monet, Joshua Bennett, and Saul Williams.
Each bottle took approximately four hours for Gallardo to complete and he says it was very relaxing and calming. He told Paste Magazine, “It’s not a moment of debauchery with whiskey, it’s this classy feeling about the love of art and it’s sort of this fuel to your artistic fire.” Gallardo would choose the writer he was going to feature and then created a small stencil of them. Then he painted the image with acrylic and spray paints on either a Maker’s Mark or Jack Daniels bottle. He would add symbols from the writing that inspired the piece and then paint the artist’s words to tie it all together.
If Gallardo’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s had a little bit of Internet fame recently with his #nationalgemday. In 2013, he started leaving pieces of art, or “gems”, in different areas around Long Island and then disclosed their locations via a picture on his social media sites. These scavenger hunts increased his Instagram following exponentially and helped him make a name for himself in the art world.