Surface x Hennessy

First Look: Hennessy Very Special Collector's Edition by Vhils

The street artist reimagines his large scale portraits for a series of limited edition bottles.

Portuguese artist Vhils has become known for his unorthodox approach to large scale murals, carving portraits out of the sides of buildings. Rather than layering paint or another medium over already existing art, he instead etches and carves the faces of city locals into the sides of buildings using drills, chisels, and hammers. “I came up with this idea of making the invisible visible by actually destroying to create,” he explains. “It’s this act of making the stories of everyday heroes that are usually invisible in a city visible, and exposing the building up of layers of the street and how it affects who we are.”

Considering his ethos, Vhils was the ideal collaborator for Hennessy’s Very Special Collector’s Edition using his famed “Making the Invisible Visible” technique to design artwork that consists of 100 individually signed pieces. Each multi-dimensional case is truly one-of-a-kind, made of several layers of colored resin that the artist approached as he would a mural: chipping and chiseling away to create unique work reflective of the cognac brand.

He is the latest in a lineup of other notables like KAWS, Shepard Fairey, and JonOne. “When I got the invitation that involved so many iconic artists— so many of them are my friends and I grew up with their work—it was truly an honor,” says Vhils. Just like the artist, Hennessy upholds a pillar of bringing attention to those who deserve it most. “A lot of time these artists weren’t valued or getting the exposure that they deserved,” says Vhils, “but Hennessy has been there from the beginning.”

Before toasting his limited edition bottle with Hennessy, Surface caught up with Vhils at Miami’s GGA Gallery in Wynwood where his first solo exhibition in the U.S., “Ethereal,” is on display.

The original artwork is the most intricate and personal piece in Vhils’ multi-faceted collaboration with Hennessy. Following its unveiling during Miami’s Art Week, the Hennessy Very Special Collector’s Edition by Vhils ($1,000) is available for purchase at Clos19.

Surface Studios is the brand marketing unit of Surface Media.

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