If you consider some of what comes out of David Choe‘s mouth, you might not think he’d be the best pairing for high-end wine going in. But you’re not Yvo Mathier, president and business director of Swiss winemakers, Fin Bec. Mr. Mathier, who has produced seven previous cases of wine art by international graffiti artists (“We had a few bottles while we came up with the idea.”), took a gamble on the gambler and flew Choe out for a one-week crate-painting bender.
Fin Bec revealed the results this weekend. Depending how you see things: it’s eight incredible new complete paintings by David Choe OR 672 hand-painted swatches.
Backing up a bit, Fin Bec stacked 672 empty wine crates to form the eight giant wooden canvases. Co-conspirator Critter Fleming (from whom we have the behind-the-scene photos) helped prime and paint the boxes, and then David Choe went to town. Of his stay in stunning Switzerland, Choe said:
“I don’t think my grandfather or any of my ancestors ever expected a Korean to be in this country. But I’m here, and I think they would die if they saw how much cheese I’ve eaten.”
Ha! Proximity to wine ≠ pretentiousness!
There’s a ton of paint on these boxes because Choe sometimes switched subject matter throughout the week. “I’m using so much paint that the wood is starting to warp, which I think is kind of cool,” he said. As for the changes, “That comes from how much cheese I ate or how much sleep I got the night before.”
Following the past weekend’s wine-opening-slash-art-opening at Cave Fin Bec, the painted cases will be dismantled and filled with six bottles of Fin Bec’s organic Domaine Châtroz wine. For the sum of $340, you can collect wine and art at the same time! That price gets one of the 672 limited edition hand-painted wine crates and six bottles of wine (with Choe-based labels) shipped to your door (with insurance provided).
Of course this means that you could get the lip, nose and lashes (3rd row from the top, above) or great texture, colors and patterns (also above) OR you could get a solid pink dud of background corner case from Dog Bec (below). Although, whatever you get is kind of awesome, considering it’s a hand-painted piece of David Choe’s art, adventure and history!
This one, Dog Bec (above), is Choe’s favorite, and he describes it with fondness as “chaos” and “madness.” After considering whether he wanted to execute the paintings like a cohesive series, he decided to go wild and make a bulldog with bat ears and bat wings.
Ah, the dilemma! Are you a risk taker, or do you hedge your bets? Recall how Choe chose stock options over solid cash from Mark Zuckerberg in 2005, a gamble that paid off to the tidy tune of $200 million in 2012. The Fin Bec wine and limited edition cases painted by David Choe are now up for pre-order here.