Now, labels are pretty important to David, so if he was going to have a beer label it would need to be making some sort of statement. Enter Leigh Carmichael, now Creative Director of Dark Mofo, and an idea to use artist John Kelly’s series of paintings.
At the time Kelly was aggravated by the Australia Council for the Arts’ push to commercialise and brand art. So Kelly shot back with a series of works featuring the ACA’s own logo, then dared the Art body to sue him. So David and Leigh encouraged John to go one step further, and plaster his art all over a range of beers. John agreed.
Want to read John Kelly’s rant to the Australian Prime Minister about the branding of the arts? Click here.
On the beer labels, Kelly rails against the apparent corporatisation of art by the Australian Arts Council: their logo shows an image of the sun and a kangaroo, which the council insists must never be altered or separated. Here Kelly has embedded the images in an art context. Of particular interest is Alien (Skull), which redefined the Sidney Nolan masterpiece The boy and the moon (also known as Moonboy), using the sun and the ears of the kangaroo from the council logo.
Moo Brew’s original brewery was located on the site of the Museum of Old and New Art – MONA. MONA opened in Hobart in January 2011. It is Australia’s largest private museum and displays a diverse collection that ranges from Ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world’s most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art. There are three bars, a couple of cafés, three restaurants, accommodation, winery, cellar door and cemetery. Travel to MONA by ferry, bus, bike or car, and drink a Moo or two at the various hydration stations between the collections.