You Need This Hennessy x VHILS Bottle on Your Grown-Up Bar Cart
Make the invisible visible.
There are two tell-tale signs of adulthood: a well-stocked bar cart and walls decorated with real art. (As in, it’s hung in frames, not with sticky tack or scotch tape.) Which of these two marks of maturity should you spend your hard earned cash on? Thanks to Hennessy, you no longer have to choose. You can have your art and drink it too, as it were.
For the better part of a decade, Hennessy has been commissioning very special bottles of its Very Special Cognac, featuring the work of street-art icons like Shepard Fairey, KAWS, and JonOne. And this year, they’ve tapped none other than Portuguese wunderkind VHILS to put his spin on the French distiller’s iconic glassware.
At just 30 years old, VHILS has risen quickly through the art-world ranks by adopting a sort of Sam Hinkie approach to murals. Where others try to create something beautiful by building up over an existing canvas, VHILS gets the same result by blowing the canvas up. His signature style is to literally deconstruct the medium: carving massive portraits into the sides of brick buildings, drilling his way into enormous blocks of concrete, and using explosives to etch on plaster walls. His mission, he says, is “making the invisible visible.”
“[It’s] this eternal quest for the essence of things, exploring this social fabric that we live in,” VHILS says. “That’s reflected in my work, in the digging and exposing of hidden things.”
When it came to designing his Hennessy bottle—which’ll hit stores in July—VHILS opted for relatively straightforward paint on canvas. Only, of course, he then burned that paint using acid to create his signature bold-faced graphics, which appropriately wound up roughly the same yellowy tone as cognac. The resulting labels and accompanying box are unsettling and chaotic, full of depth both physical and figurative. It’s definitely a talking piece—the kind of thing you display front and centre on your bar cart, and then discuss at length over a healthy serving of cognac.