Vendemmia d’Artista





The character of Ornellaia 2015, the tenth edition of Vendemmia d’Artista, was “Il Carisma”. 
William Kentridge was the artist chosen to interpret “Il Carisma”.


William Kentridge is a South African artist who is internationally renowned for his drawings, films, sculptures, animations and plays, in which he turns key political events into powerful and poetic allegories. Since the 1970s, William Kentridge has developed outstanding work rooted in progressive theatre and politically engaged art forms dating to the early twentieth century, a trajectory of modernism that remains connected to the figurative arts as a way of reflecting the world. Having spent his childhood in Johannesburg during apartheid and witnessed the collapse of the regime, Kentridge was deeply influenced by the social and political scenario in South Africa, but his observations act as allegories of the human condition and the world at large.


The central theme of William Kentridge’s artwork for Ornellaia “Il Carisma” is the harvest and the moment when wine is made. “The shears are a memory of a grape harvest experience in Tuscany, when I spent six months in San Casciano, just outside Florence, with my family. It made me understand the human effort behind winemaking, although what struck me the most were the flavours of the lunch in the vineyards made by the farmer’s wife. Profound flavours obtained through the combination of work and terroir.” The aspects of winemaking that combine manual and mechanized processes evoked the transformation of humans into machines and machines into workers. The drawings are crafted on pages of old Italian account books, found at Tuscan flea markets and secondhand shops. The only Salmanazar displays the same theme, which is developed during the anamorphosis technique. The flat image in the distorted drawing creates an optical illusion that extends across a reflecting plane.
For this 30th anniversary vintage, the artist’s label for the 750ml bottle was replicated for all the magnums and on the case covers.
Some of the large-format bottles of Vendemmia d’Artista “Il Carisma” were sold at the Sotheby’s auction held on 23 May 2018. The profits were donated to the Victoria & Albert Museum project in London.