Felipe Pantone: Remixing The Present On Hennessy Very Special Limited Edition
At the tender age of 12, Felipe Pantone began his journey into the world of creativity when he started doing graffiti. The Argentinian-Spanish artist has since gone on to graduate with a Fine Art degree in Valencia (Spain). His art ingenuity has made him to partner with Hennessy for this year’s Hennessy Very Special Limited Edition.
Speaking about the collaboration with the brand on his Instagram, Felipe writes:
“Ultrahappy to announce the launch of my collaboration with @Hennessy for this year’s Hennessy Very Special Limited Edition. It is an honor to have been invited by such an iconic brand to work on this project. It was a great experience to “Remix the Present” with my own vision of the Hennessy legacy. The artwork and the Limited Edition is a composition between past and future, between my world and @Hennessy.”
In this sit down with The Guardian Life, Pantone whose identity remains a mystery to the general public talks about his collaboration with Hennessy, motivation, achievement and more.
You started art at the age of 12, what factors contributed to your interest in art at that age?
I started doing graffiti and the way it was to me at the time, it was not art. As a kid, I was doing graffiti on people’s property and I didn’t want to get caught so I was anonymous. I wasn’t putting a lot of thought into it but when I was 18, I went to art school and that was how it all started.
Your anonymity is an exciting mystery. Is there any significance behind this?
When I started doing art, I felt that I didn’t want to change the anonymity because I am focusing on many elements to make art so I think my face is not really important. It’s like if I am a musician and all I have to offer visually is my face, I will show my face but as an artist, I have a lot to offer so my face is not relevant and I like to keep it that way.
In what ways has Graffiti influenced your art and anonymity?
My whole style developed because of graffiti. When you are working on the street, you want to be very loud and I guess that is how my whole style started, at some point, I just got rid of the letters and it became geographic abstractions which is what I now work on.
What was the major excitement for you in getting called to re-design the Hennessey bottle?
I have known about this collaboration for many years, in fact I am the ninth artist that is doing this collaboration with Hennessy for this special bottle. The eight people that went before me, they are basically like my art heroes. All these guys are important in my career and in my growth so I know about them. When Hennessy offered me the collaboration, it was like a dream so I could not say no.
What makes the cognac’s new design special and what do you think the market would find really fascinating about it?
I think it brings a brand new character to the table when you compare it to everything else. It is very different, very striking and I am happy about that because as an artist, it is very important to propose new things. In this case, it worked because it is incredible that they allowed me to twist their logo because I didn’t think they would let me do it but they did.
What do you think will be the striking quality that would attract customers to this bottle?
As an artist, I am not trying to please everybody, I am trying to offer people new experiences. From a marketing point of view, it is probably not the best answer but personally its none of my business if people find it attractive or not. if you are trying too hard to make something everyone is going to like, then nobody would like it.
It is well known that you believe that there is a connection between the past and contemporary, how do you strike a balance between the two?
It is very important to have a foot on the past, at least to understand what has been done before. That does not just apply to art but basically everything like science as well. For a cognac brand for instance, it is important to dig into the past and still offer new experiences.
Do you think academics and talent can be separated?
I don’t think you need to go to school to be an artist. I feel like I wasted a lot of time in school because, in art school, you might learn things that you may not need. You can be an artist without needing those skills and these days, anything you need to learn, you can learn on YouTube. Concepts are way more important.
Now that you are in Africa, would you explore some African arts?
Yes, in fact, I am meeting with 30 young artists here from Lagos and I am looking forward to seeing what they have got to show me.
What goes on in your mind while working?
I am always working; I am always thinking about work so I don’t have a very methodical way. I guess what I can say is that my method is to be very purposeful about what I do.
Do you run out of ideas? If this happens, what do you do?
Sometimes it can happen but I always have a bag full of things that I am always trying to keep full. I have notes everywhere; I always have ideas of things I still want to work on. I don’t usually run out.
What do you consider your biggest achievement?
I will say it is always trying to find new things to achieve. I never feel like I am done and hopefully, it would stay that way for a long time.