Project Redhead: Vincent van Gogh at Martin’s Lane Winery

Recently, Polich Tallix had the pleasure of working with artist Douglas Coupland and Anthony von Mandl to realize their sculpture Vincent van Gogh, a monumental bronze, for Martin’s Lane Winery in Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada. The artist supplied the foundry with a high resolution 3D file, and a pattern was CNC milled in dense foam. The foam was rubber molded, waxes were made and cast via ceramic shell in silicon bronze. The castings were assembled, welded and chased. The finished bronze sculpture received a traditional patina and a protective wax coating. Below, a representative from the winery tells the story.

CouplandFoam-1-2CouplandFininshing-3-2CouplandThis unique commission given to artist and cultural icon Douglas Coupland by winery Proprietor Anthony von Mandl, was born out of the realization that Pinot Noir grapes are the result of natural mutations in Burgundy’s vineyards over centuries, and red hair is a genetic mutation in humans and both represent only 2% of their respective populations. The initiative  was called ‘Project Redhead’ and timed to coincide with the completion of Martin’s Lane Winery, which is likely the most radical new Pinot Noir winery in the world in one of the unlikeliest locations, British Columbia’s pristine Okanagan Valley.

A worldwide crowdsourcing initiative to find a Vincent van Gogh lookalike was launched, under the URL “I am Vincent” and resulted in over 1,250 entrant from 37 countries and more than 500,000 votes from the public. The winner was  Daniel Baker from Christchurch, England who was flown to Vancouver to be 3D scanned and his facial data was then used as the source material to create a large 2 meter by 3 meter 3D bronze sculpture of Van Gogh.Douglas Coupland_DanielBaker_3695 crop

Photo:  Artist Douglas Coupland (left) and Van Gogh lookalike Daniel Baker (right) stand in the Pinot Noir vineyard at Martin’s Lane Winery, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada.

The sculpture was commissioned by Martin’s Lane Proprietor Anthony von Mandl, who is at the forefront of the winemaking revolution taking place in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, the most exciting emerging wine  region in the world which The New York Times heralds as “The Napa of the North”. The sculpture has now been installed in the Pinot Noir vineyard at Martin’s Lane Winery. The sculpture of ‘Vincent’ (sans ear) is positioned on its side in the Pinot Noir vineyard as if listening to the ground to hear the grapes growing.

The architecturally stunning 6-level, gravity-fed winery is a bold reflection of von Mandl’s vision, passion, and innovative approach to winemaking which captured the world’s attention when Martin’s Lane won a trophy for ‘World’s Best Pinot Noir’ at the Decanter World Wine Awards in London, the most prestigious wine competition in the world. Martin’s Lane Winery’s first wines are about to be released, and global wine expert Steven Spurrier, who put Napa Valley on the map, has once again recognized another unknown region by awarding a wine from the inaugural vintage of Martin’s Lane Winery 97 points, the highest rating he has ever given for an inaugural vintage.

Rarely do the forces of nature, human vision and artisanal craft come together to create something truly radical – this is Martin’s Lane Winery.

Vincent van Gogh at Martin's Lane Winery

Photo: Artist Douglas Coupland (left) and Proprietor Anthony von Mandl (right) stand alongside the bronze ‘Vincent’ sculpture at Martin’s Lane Winery, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada.


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