Courtesy of Proximo Spirits
His work has appeared on Reebok sneakers, Valentino handbags, Uniqlo T-shirts and Burton snowboards; hip-hop lyrics by Jay-Z and Rick Ross mention his name. The late Jean-Michel Basquiat, once a white-cube darling, is arguably the top artist in the pop-culture vernacular of late—and the reign continues. Six of his iconic pieces are now displayed on bottles of 1800 Tequila ($30 each) in celebration of the brand’s sixth annual Essential Artists series.
Like in previous collaborations—which include bottles by graphic designer Shepard Fairey and contemporary artist Gary Baseman—the new collection looked to highlight an inventive, influential artist. Basquiat (who died in 1988), with his radical and individual approach, fit the criteria to a T, inspiring 1800 to—for the first time ever—dedicate all six styles of the limited-edition series to a single artist.
"Jean-Michel's artwork connects with people now in the same way that it did 20 years ago," explains David Stark, president of brand-management company Artestar, which worked with 1800 Tequila on the project. "It's just that the culture has caught up with him and there is broader awareness. We are happy that he continues to be part of the dialogue."
Cheers to that. Available in liquor stores nationwide.