01 Nov Russian Bear | #UrbanExpressions Campaign
For this campaign, Russian Bear Vodka commissioned ten artists/designers from across the country to participate in a design challenge under the theme ‘Urban Expressions’. The artists were encouraged to represent their understanding and influence of urban culture, using black-coated Russian Bear bottles as their canvas. Their designs have been submitted and are now up for public vote until 8 November 2013. The public’s favourite design will become Russian Bear Vodka’s next limited edition run.
Three designs will be shortlisted from the public votes, and the Russian Bear Master will choose the overall winner. The artist with the winning design will earn him/herself R40 000 cash and voters stand a chance of winning hamper giveaways or spot prizes for sharing their views, too.
“Skhot so Hard” is the theme of the design onto the bottle. The thought behind the design is based on the loxion (township) culture “Izikhothani”, where teenagers are all about consuming reputable brands from clothing to gadgets. One can identify Izikhothani by their attire, they wear bold, extreme and bright colours such as yellow, blue, red and pink. The culture is all about the flossing the “bling bling”.
Graffiti art and tattoos are the epitome of urban expression, any developed urban environment will contain some form of graffiti in it somewhere, free for any passer-by to experience and enjoy. The graffiti writers choose surfaces in the streets to express themselves however they choose where everyone can see instead of in their studios and gallery reserved for a select few. Tattoos are a way for an individual to identify themselves in the urban world, they carry it with them wherever they go, an expression of themselves and the artist.
A digital camo of the new age. It is a mix of graffiti and military inspired styles. The colours or the words and the pattern are highly contrasting so that the bottle is distinct and a little subtle but the words Russian Bear are more eye catching. This is a graphic design trick that I have added to spice up the design. Looking at the bottle you see a mix of computer graphics, military trickery and street art effects. This is the type of person that I am, an all in one that is fused into a hard hitter.
My idea was inspired by looking at buildings, I was looking at the town hall and it looked like the building was made of people like the “human tower” festival. I got on the web and googled “human tower” then I explored what everyday human tower scenarios could be. Eventually it was how our vices trump or intersect with other people when all we want to ascend somehow whether it is in this current sense of existence or on a “post-walk into the light” scenario. I call it “cekwa ngelosi” playing tag with angels.
The concept behind my bottle was basically a comment on social, urban trends of the youth in Jo’burg. How they’re influenced by music videos and fashion trends in general. The character I created is a depiction of this urban youth, wearing these ever so popular nerd glasses, he’s got grills and is wearing these expensive gold chains seen worn by rappers like Jay-Z and Kanye. I called the piece “All gold eerthang” after the song by Trinidad James which I hated but the beat was damn catchy!
For me Urban Expressions are all about vibrancy, flexibility, creativity and the beat. I tried to show this through the use of bright colours, patterns and loosely splattered paint. The masked characters tell the story of people who are not afraid to choose who they want to be, people who are free to recreate their identities. The doodle work starts from the bottom and ascends, suggesting the people’s yearning to improve.
The intricacies of the city I stand for, the patterns the city creates, different art forms and things that are buried and born in the city I live in. The urban lifestyle, the busy metropolis, the conversations we not a part of. THE CHAOS ON ME IS NOT OF ME – Joburg City.
Inspiration: Jhb CBD, street art, comic books. Comics inspire me to simplify, leaving the essence. The spray paint is raw and uncontrived, the way I like things. We should all play, embrace change. Our cities are a testament to that, constantly evolving, resilient but flexible.
My artwork represents a celebration of South African urban nightlife, the music, and the diverse culture. I tried to show, through words and images, the mix of cultures, languages, music, and style under a great big african sky.Our urban culture is unique, beautiful, inspiring and rich in diversity, and definitely worth celebrating! It’s ours and we should OWN it.
My design inspiration for this bottle was inspired by travelling and the muddle of thoughts and ideas in my head; my mind is literally like a tumble of diamonds because I always feel under pressure to make something in a really uncomfortable and non-familiar environment – pressure makes a diamond right? The characters seen are a representation of work I do when I travel in different spaces all over the city and a create anywhere at any time.