• 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)
  • 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

It was when I got into the art world, while working as a preparator in an Upper West Side gallery in New York, that kind of sparked the idea for the Picasso Bong series. A throw back to when my friends and I use to make different bongs and bowls out of anything we could find. A gravity bong from a milk jug in the kitchen sink, or a bowl made of plumbing parts from the hardware store. The more inventive, the better.

At the time, I was holding a Picasso vase thinking, “What is this, a gravy boat? This could be a killer bong.” While in the creative moment, the head preparator caught me test diving. I was fired on the spot—mostly for handling the raw terracotta vase with bare hands. And probably because I was going “Hey check this out! Wouldn’t this make a sick bong…”

For years, the idea of a Picasso Bong stuck with me. And It turns out getting a properly made Picasso wasn’t as easy as you’d think. Federal counterfeiting and forgery laws tripped out a lot of potential collaborators. It took a few years but I finally ended up going to China where they are known for high quality Ming Dynasty level ceramics and not so concerned about art forgery laws. As well as Mexico for the terracotta edition.

To get dimensions and details right, I snagged high-res images of Picasso vases from high-end auction houses, extrapolated their measurements and then used those to create blueprints. The production process was a little shadowland, but they turned out a near perfect, fully functional Picasso bong that’ll impress your friends and family with your Blue Chip Art collection.

—Guy Overfelt