Friday, April 1, 2011

Mr. Punch in the Arts: Drunk Punch, 1990

Drunk Punch
Richard Slee
Victoria & Albert Museum
Contemporary studio potter Richard Slee was inspired by English ceramics of centuries past and their relationship to British culture. Driven to create a modern adaptation of English “Tobies” (jugs, or large drinking mugs in the form of a stout man), Slee inverted the popular phrase, “Punch Drunk” and created this figure of Drunk Punch. What’s more British than Mr. Punch?

Here, we see Mr. Punch, clearly in his cups, made of coiled earthenware and colored glazes. He is surrounded by spent cobalt blue bottles which refer to Slee’s famous modern reworking of vase shapes.

Located in the Victoria & Albert Museum, Drunk Punch is usually exhibited at the end of a display of antique Tobies which show the progression of the vessel over centuries.

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