It has been a heady year, to say the least, and Champagne house Veuve Clicquot is channeling that chaotic energy with a most psychedelic art design for the latest release of its headiest cuvée, La Grande Dame. Clicquot recently partnered, for a second time, with contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama to celebrate Grande Dame's 2012 vintage, the first vintage of the wine since the 2008 cuvée. The 91-year-old artist's signature polka dots and hallucinatory flowers appear on bottles and boxes accompanying the wine, but the collector's item is a limited-run magnum, outfitted in a floral sculptural fixing that the artist spent more than 250 hours designing and painting.
"The flower and the vibrant imagination that flows from it evoke the strength and delicacy of the La Grande Dame cuvée, as well as the positive energy that defines [Kusama's] life and Madame Clicquot’s," the Champagne house said in a statement provided to Unfiltered. Or, as the artist explained of her inspiration, "I saw the entire room, my entire body and the entire universe covered with red flowers, and in that instant my soul was obliterated and I was restored, returned to infinity, to eternal time and absolute space," she wrote, adding, "This was not an illusion but reality itself."
The sculpture is titled My Heart that Blooms in the Darkness of Night, but even those who don't splurge on one of the 100 magnums will find the flowers-and-dots motif all over the "regular" Grande Dame label and gift box.
Since the time of Madame Clicquot, "design and art have been pivotal forces, and an outlet for our house’s desire to create, innovate and push boundaries," the maison's CEO, Jean-Marc Gallot, told Unfiltered via email. "Yayoi Kusama embodies all of this, and with an artistic expression that is both generous and deeply optimistic. This resonates with Veuve Clicquot, a house that has always sparkled with optimism and a hopeful sense of joie de vivre.”
This collaboration isn't the first rodeo between La Grande Dame and Kusama. In 2006, the world-renowned artist used the same mind's-eye polka dots to bring new life, or at least a new look, to an original portrait of La Madame, which sold at a Tokyo charity auction. This latest art wine is available for presale Sept. 17., with the non-sculpture bottles going for $195.
Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.