• Image of Guy Overfelt / Sujet Poisson Bong (After Picasso)
  • Image of Guy Overfelt / Sujet Poisson Bong (After Picasso)
  • Image of Guy Overfelt / Sujet Poisson Bong (After Picasso)

Guy Overfelt
Sujet Poisson Bong (After Picasso)
2017

Partially glazed red earthenware clay bong with decoration in englobes (black, white). Hand blown glass bowl and stem.

Stamped and marked "Edition Picasso Bong / Madoura Plein Feu / Edition Picasso" (underneath).

5.5” h x 8.5” d x 3.75” w
Edition of 50

I got the idea of making a Picasso bong from way back when I would make different bongs and bowls out of anything my friends and I could find. It was always a creative process. I would make a pipe or bong from a milk jug, the classic apple, a paper tube, a yard ornament, a honey bear, or a beer can.

It was when I got into the art world and was exposed to some Picasso vases while working as an art handler in an Upper West Side gallery in New York that kind of sparked the idea. I’m thinking, “What is this, a gravy boat? This could be a killer bong.” The dealer caught me in the process of trying to hit a real Picasso and I was fired on the spot—mostly for handling the raw terracotta vase with bare hands and mouth.

But the idea stuck with me. Turns out getting a properly made Picasso wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I immediately ran into issues finding someone to help make the vases, mostly because they were concerned about “forgery” laws. It took a few years but I finally ended up going to China where they are known for high quality forgery and Ming Dynasty level ceramics. I was able to extract measurements from high-resolution photos of the originals that I snagged from high-end auction house websites and used those as blueprints. The production process was a little shady as I never actually met the person who made them, but they turned out a near perfect, fully functional Picasso bong. It has a super smooth pull, and it looks like a really expensive piece of art that’ll fake out your friends and family.

—Guy Overfelt

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