Art and wine, so compatible it is almost a cliché, but in the case of the Imagery Art for Wine Collection, it is a partnership that has led to one of the most prestigious California art collections of the past 30 years. Begun in 1985 by celebrated vintner Joe Benziger and artist Bob Nugent, the Imagery Collection was conceived and amassed, resulting in works by a who’s who of California and nationally recognized artists.
What is unique about this particular collection is that each work has also appeared as a label on the annual special releases of Imagery wines. While that was the byproduct of the art, the original works have all been preserved as the Imagery Art for Wine Collection. It is a remarkable amassing of fine art used for branding purposes.
Indeed, fine art branding has a rich history. Whether it was the great Mesopotamian king Xerxes employing a bow on his portraits to identify with the legendary hero Gilgamesh, or the Tudor practice of Henry VIII having his initial crest carved onto royal architecture, or the practice of the Barbarini Popes of having artists such as Bernini add the family symbol of bees to commissioned works, art branding has always been with us. In the case of the Imagery Wine Collection art, the winery logo – a simplified façade of the Parthenon – is incorporated or secreted into the work. This exhibition will act as an investigation into the contemporary practice of art branding, a celebration of the partnering strength of California wines and art, and an opportunity to showcase a hundred works by some of the most celebrated artists of our day.
This will be a major opportunity for the Triton Museum of Art and for the community to see so many of these artists in one place. As such, the Triton Museum of Art will devote 2/3 of its exhibition space to the exhibition. Education programs, including lectures, demonstrations, and workshops will accompany this exhibition.