Take a trip down to the Oakton Wine Shop and you’ll notice something very different about this particular store that sets it apart from all others. In addition to its amazing selection of wines and beers from around the globe, this local business happens to host one of the most unique POP art exhibits around—art on wine bottles.
Popademic, as its artist creator Joey Havlock calls it, is a series of original paintings on glass wine, champagne and other spirits bottles.
“Each of these bottle paintings is a unique conception and is a oneof- a-kind piece of work,” Joey Havlock says. “Each has its own personality twist, and all of them are hand-painted original works of art.” Havlock’s exhibit in Oakton was put on display at a recent wine tasting the store held, and there you can see this continuation of Havlock’s POP Culture series, “Social Epidemic.” “These beautiful remnants, created to protect and display their valuable spirits, are often discarded without consideration once their contents have been consumed,” he says. “Rather than view these abandoned bottles as trash, I realized that each bottle could be re-energized in a way that is not only fun and entertaining, but visually engaging, to create original fine art treasures.”
Within the series itself the viewer is treated to an array of different styles. Included among these one will find the exuberant faces of the “Smiley POPs” that happily speak to the child in us all; the “Convo POPs” that love to share their thoughts with you; and the beautiful ladies of the “POP Tarts,” whose charming glances are sure to get your attention.
One cohesive feature throughout many of the Popademic works is the presence of the Havlock ‘crack’; a unique characteristic that adds a hint of surrealistic depth to each piece. With its combination of pop and surrealistic styling, Havlock’s work, while reminiscent of pop art masters, has its own distinctive quality that is refreshing and captivating.
“Whether it’s the serenity of a cloudscape or the surprise of exotic creatures emerging from the crack, there is always something beyond the initial imagery to entice the observer to wonder,” he says.
Havlock called himself an “ultraist artist,” meaning an individual that pushes the creative process to the extreme in all directions. With more than 20 years as an artist to his credit, he has generated a wealth of artwork and imagery to stimulate the imagination of those who view his work. The visions that he has pursued not only excite, but engage the observer to question and look deeper into the meaning of each piece.
A native of Manassas, Havlock experienced a childhood that provided him an optimal environment for the later development of his artistic expression, as he grew up as part of a family of creatively diverse characters and personalities.
These people not only inspired many of his individual works, but also provided a strong influence for many of his ongoing series, including Popademic.
“The influences and references to experiences and people from my past are everywhere in my artwork,” he says. “From the works of my Master Minds series that reflect the personality traits of people I remember flooding through my grandfather’s house, to hands and feet works of my Extremities series, where I constantly reflect the numerous kids that my mother used to babysit when I was in my early teens, the effect is ever present.”
“The reflections and memories I have of the childhood I experienced are kept with me every day in the forefront of my mind,” he adds. “Though daily the memories change, there was so much that happened then, as well as now, I cannot help but to use the thoughts in my works and paintings.”
After arriving in New York City in 1986, the artist delved into the world of technology consulting and systems development. As an artist he recognized modern technology to be as much a part of the creative process as the development of fine pigments and brushes, thought by many to be conventional artist tools. His technical expertise in tandem with his creative background provided the ideal combination of elements for the phantasmagorical imagery that would later become the essence of his many styles.
“I think living in New York City and having so much constantly going on around you makes it easy to appreciate art,” he says. “There are so many new buildings, new signs, people, fashion, cars and constant movement around, which is all art. There is always some creative person or team behind just about everything you see.”
Inspired by artists such as Al Held, Rene Magritte, Mark Kostabi, Peter Halley, and Damian Loeb, Havlock has spent more than 20 years in New York City exploring and developing his craft as an artist.
“The visions I pursue are cutting edge, have immediate shock value and use simplistic geometric shape and form,” he says. “My creations are my children, they are my representations of moments and periods in time. Like songs, my works move me emotionally, spiritually and physically.”
The combination of Havlock’s compelling aesthetics and diverse artistic experience has established a perfect platform for his current endeavor— Popademic.
“My artworks provide me personal reward and acknowledgment of my growth and evolvement as a socially interactive being, and best of all they provide a vehicle for collaborative interaction with society,” he says. “Many of my latest works use resources I have spent years investigating.” Havlock’s Art Bottled series is currently on exhibit and can be viewed in person at the Oakton Wine Shop in Oakton and the bottles are continually being rotated with newer works as they emerge from his studio. For more on the artist, visit www.popademic.com.