As a disclaimer…. I understand the subject of this post could be construed as politically incorrect. Indeed, it is politically incorrect and that, I suspect, is why Wil made it. Wil often tried to get a rise from anyone he could, as a way of starting a conversation, of illuminating the obvious, whatever.
I mentioned this object to Jutai the other day and he remembered it clearly, explaining that it was once filled with a brown liquid, probably ashphaltum and solvents, that have since evaporated and left a thin film inside the jar.
The effort involved in actually making the labels is remarkable. As far as I know, there is only one of these and it is now in the collection of Terry Ryan. Terry had mentioned it on several occasions and when I visited him earlier this year, he placed on the table in front of me.
I too must have a warped sense of humor because I burst into laughter and snapped these pictures with my phone's camera.
The jar is a 32 oz. Bick's pickle jar. We don't have this font here in Cape Dorset, so whether Wil did the labels here or elsewhere remains to be seen. The dingbats are also absent in our collection, but it is possible Wil took all these fonts with him when he retreated south … but left the jar.
The printers here, in Kinngait Studios, also think this is pretty funny. I think the fact that the printers and artists, past and present, regard this as an object of humour, speaks loudly of the relationship Wil shared with them.