This Piece of the Week is pretty special. I stopped and enjoyed a sharp intake of breath as I noticed the attention to detail J.C. Maziu has bought to his work “Sailor’s Delusions.” The details of the whale, octopus, shark, mermaid, and ship all dancing around in brown liquor, varying in scale and size make this a charming artwork.
It’s imaginations like the one sloshing around inside the head of J.C. Maziu that bring us these delightful transformative moments that turns the ritual of pouring a drink into vibrant and exciting works of art. This illustration employs absurdity and an element of surprise, combined with the utterly familiar, to make something very fresh.
The decreasing scale is a clever element of this work. I like that the ship is drowning under the booze. The muted palette hints at a vintage time, when browns and oranges were scattered around lounge rooms, filled with decanters ready to pour a scotch. The white line highlights on the bottle give it such character, and make the inanimate highly animated, as if the bottle had seen the oceans of the world, and swam with whales.
The next time you’re pouring a drink, think of this work and the sense of adventure and might it represents.