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Hennessy Collaborates with Street Artist JonOne in New Limited Edition Label Cognac  France

Hennessy Collaborates with Street Artist JonOne in New Limited Edition Label

Talking to John Andrew Perello (JonOne), the creator of the most recent –almost ebullient—label for Hennessy, is a philosophical experience.

The Dominican-American graffiti artist who was tagging and splashing the walls of Harlem with spray cans of paint in hand has come a long way from his roots on 156th street, where he used to hang. He was one of the “riffraff” he says, who has actually made it, in terms of his career and his followers, from a group of people that he says seldom make it.

And graffiti art, or “urban street lettering” as it is sometimes fancifully known, is morphing in the way it is viewed. The art form is no longer associated with vandalism and illicitly-purchased cans of markers.

Now, luxury brands like Hennessy are fully embracing the movement and commissioning these artists who are creating high-end and beautiful works of art (another brand that has done this is La Maison du Chocolat, with its partnership with graffiti artist, Nasty).

Building an identity, and letting people know who they are, is important for a lot of artists including JonOne and pop master Fabel, who is also a legend in the world of urban lettering as well as hip-hop. “Quite often, the voice of the youth was not heard,” says Fabel, whose graffiti history started three decades ago on walls and subway cars.

“Compared to New York --which was intense and hardcore --I could take a step back in Paris,” says JonOne, on how his style changed when he moved away. “As an American, you don’t really have that zing, that ‘art of living’ mentality like you do in France.”

Images in his head end up just translating through spray paint: “There is no separation of who I am and my artwork,” JonOne says. He didn’t want the label to be too serious that it didn’t celebrate what the spirit of the occasion is all about.

The Limited Edition bottle retails for $29.98 - $99.99, and makes an excellent gift during the holiday season.