In 2002, I conjured up the vibrant persona of Boozehag, also known as Chardonnay Minx.
Urban Dictionary defines her as a woman with an unwavering affinity for drinking and an absolute blast to be around—a term of endearment. Inspired by my time at a local bar, where the staff playfully nicknamed us, I created the first Boozehag—a whimsical triangle-faced creature with a wine glass.
Little did I know this initial creation would pave the way for an incredible journey.
To my surprise, the demand for Boozehag artworks multiplied, leading me to explore a merchandise range that would complement the essence of this captivating character. Thus, began the arduous task of research and development, seeking affordable yet high-quality manufacturers to bring the vision to life. Bulk quantities often provided better prices, but finding the right balance was essential.
After all, I couldn't imagine there being 25 thousand Boozehags in New Zealand. Marketing expertise and international contacts proved invaluable in expanding the brand's reach.
In 2004, an exciting collaboration with another gallery owner birthed the idea of a Boozehag club and website. We celebrated its launch with an unforgettable party generously sponsored by Lindauer New Zealand. (I absolutely love their Lindauer Fraise, a strawberry flavoured sparkling wine.)
Topless waiters and a drag queen added a touch of amusement, setting the tone for future Boozehag exhibitions that continue to dazzle today.
However, as misconceptions arose—some associating Boozehag with promoting alcoholism and others assuming I was the embodiment of the character—I faced a challenging decision. Attempting to bid farewell to Boozehag, we concocted a scenario where she met her demise, choking on an olive while water skiing. Yet, her loyal following persisted, undeterred even by name changes to 'Glamour Girl' and 'Chardonnay Minx.'
Eventually, I succumbed to the overwhelming demand, continuing to paint various incarnations of Boozehag.
Nowadays, Boozehag has found a home in Rarotonga, embraced by a local gallery. You'll discover Chardonnay Minx gracefully reclining on beaches, in lagoons, and even underwater, adorned with flowers and a plethora of cocktails.
While the merchandise range is no longer available, I invite you to peruse the Pop Arts Page on this site for the latest Boozehag paintings currently for sale in New Zealand.
I am delighted to offer commissions for personalised portraits in this distinctive style. And if you're eager to have your very own commissioned artwork, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Boozehag has captured the hearts of many, leaving an indelible mark on the art world. Join the enchanting world of Boozehag and experience the whimsy, charm, and the undeniable allure of this beloved character.
Posted: Monday 18 January 2010