For the fifth edition of Hennessy’s VS (Very Special) series, Hennessy invited critically acclaimed American contemporary artist Ryan McGinness to design a “very special” bottle. The new design is an addition to “Black Hole,” McGinness’ ongoing series of artworks featuring round paintings on wood panels and canvases.

hennessy vs limited edition by ryan mcginness

The launch party was held at Toronto’s Only One Gallery where the lights were turned off to unveil a pattern in bright fluorescent colours. Glowing green, hot pink, bright yellow, and sky blue radiate from the center and extend into intertwined arabesque patterns. The colours draw inspiration from Hennessy’s iconic coat of arms, and the visual branding is reinterpreted into an arm holding a flower composed of a blooming radiating eye. The mixture of art and colour parallels Hennessy’s artful blending of ingredients. The bottle’s metadata (the information that is usually found on the label in ‘fine print’) is subverted and expressed through McGinness’ own visual language in a prominent way.

McGinness hopes to create a sense of enlightenment and a spiritual awakening of sorts through the combination of the bottle’s bright colours, which also stays true to Hennessey Canada’s #ArtofTheChase campaign’s mindset. The campaign is a collaboration between the cognac brand and six local creators who embody the “Art of The Chase” spirit, the art of constantly chasing for greatness. Each creator shares an encouraging story and what the #ArtofTheChase means to them through words and short film.

hennessy artofthechase the art of the chase campaign creators
#ArtofTheChase creators

The limited edition bottle wasn’t the only thing glowing in the dark at the party; guests played with neon glow sticks, painted with glow-in-the-dark colours, and ate flashing cotton candies while a contortionist shows off her flexibility with a glow-in-the-dark hula-hoop, and the DJ mixed tunes with glow-in-the-dark crossfader knobs.

Featured drinks were named after McGinness’ artworks such as “Black Hole” made with Hennessy VS, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, blueberries and ginger; and “Pink Hole” prepared with Hennessey VS, lemonade, simple syrup, pineapple and raspberries.

Classic cocktails like Hennessy Old Fashion and Hennessey Sour were great to pair with some of the delectable bites served by Eatertainment Special Events & Catering, such as bruschetta with gorgonzola and braised grape, duck confit puff pastry, and foie gras paste on wonton crisp.

The adjacent room showcased photo canvases of the #ArtofTheChase creators: Adrian Forte, Andre Bathalon, Daymon Green, Tamon George, Zach Macklovitch, Hawley Dunbar and Tristan Banning, who were also in attendance.

The new Hennessy x Ryan McGinness bottle is the latest product in Hennessey’s VS series. Past projects include collaborations with internationally renowned artists Futura, Shepard Fairey, and Os Gemeos.

Ryan McGinness has embarked on a Hennessy world tour with four stops already visited in the States (New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Philadelphia), and will continue to Russia.

The product retails for $32 per 750ml bottle (suggested price), and a limited number of deluxe sets, which retails for $150 (suggested price), are also available. The Hennessy V.S Limited Edition Deluxe set includes two 750ml bottles, one of them in a different adaption of the design (black background), a keepsake booklet with information on the collaboration, and two artwork coasters, in a commemorative gift box.

(photos by T&T)

Hennessy VS x Ryan McGinness Toronto Launch Party

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