Sandeman’s relationship with art can be traced back to its origins. At that time, several artists were invited to contribute to the visual universe of a brand that has always valued an innovative and sophisticated approach in its communication. The Sandeman Gallery is the brand’s new online gallery that offers an opportunity to revisit its extraordinary artistic heritage, by showcasing objects, drawings, paintings, and other works that are part of the Sandeman tradition. It also brings the brand’s broad-based commitment into focus and brings it closer to the artistic universe, imbuing its history with continuity through it successive artistic partnerships. This is a path that Sandeman wants to keep pursuing and sharing with everyone by incorporating the art that comes from such collaboration in its products and communications.
It was against this background that Mário Belém was invited to author a collection of new works inspired by the advertisements and historical collaborations of the century-old Port Wine brand. Asked to create his own visual representation of Sandeman, the digital illustrator and graphic artist immersed himself in the brand’s iconographic heritage to produce original works of art reflecting the characteristic traces of his style, which may now be admired at The Sandeman Gallery.
The urban artist welcomed the invitation: “Sandeman is a pivotal Port Wine brand with a powerful graphical component that is part of the Portuguese collective imagination. I accepted the challenge of working with a brand with such a strong heritage without hesitation, and I sought to bring the street art universe into this collection”, said Mário Belém.
In this collection, the artist takes us on a journey through the history of the brand from his perspective. The result is an imaginary alley composed of reinterpretations and allusions. It evokes iconographic elements of Sandeman’s history through the application of a language closer to street art, thus drawing history towards the contemporary. The backdrop of the street reinforces the message that art is no longer confined to a gallery, the familiar place where Sandeman traditionally exhibits its posters, tiles, murals and other public artistic interventions.
Sandeman’s close relationship with art has resulted in partnerships with artists such as the famous Jean d’Ylen. It was George Massiot-Brown from Scotland who created the mythical figure The Don in 1928, with his iconic hat typical of Jerez de la Frontera and the traditional black cloak worn by Portuguese university students. The history of this iconic brand is alive and well in the Sandeman Cellars and at Quinta do Seixo — both venues are open to the public to visit — and is now also only a click away in The Sandeman Gallery.