PONGRÁCZ BOLD PRINT OF THE YEAR 2020: The Populist

Created in collaboration with talented South African designer Sir Abner, the 2020 Bold Print of the Year has been announced.

The winning print, entitled The Populist, is inspired in part by Desiderius Pongrácz, who revolutionised South African viticulture by challenging and changing the status quo through his visionary ideas.

The design is also inspired by postal art/correspondence art, a popular artistic movement that focused on sending small-scale artworks via the postal service.

Sir Abner designed a code – EOIC 3ULD – which, when folded upwards, translates to BOLD, reflecting the pioneering spirit of Desiderius Pongrácz.

Sir Abner transformed the military camouflage print that symbolises camaraderie and bravery, into black and white, and infused the design with the Shangaan Bag, which represents hope, courage and optimism.

In keeping with Sir Abner’s extraordinary ability to weave ideas, design, fashion and culture into a single vision, the 2020 Bold Print of the Year makes an original statement.

Sir Abner

SIR ABNER MAKGAMATHA

Sir Abner is a graphic artist living and working in Johannesburg. A prominent creator in the fields of design and textiles, he has partnered with some of South Africa’s top designers throughout his career.

It’s his bold and out-of-the-box thinking that epitomises what we, at Pongrácz, are about. His unmistakable style and unique design aesthetic push the boundaries of design and textiles – making him a pioneering force in his field.

Sir Abner lives as boldly as he designs. Take a peek.

Winning Print - The Populist

Inspired by the man Desiderius Pongrácz who smuggled vines into South Africa whilst fleeing uprisings in Hungary, this design evokes the influence of a movement of artistic, renaissance men who had an interest in craft, literature, music and changing the status quo. Through their visionary ideas they challenged, encouraged and dared to be different.

Desiderius Pongrácz, a nobleman, revolutionised viticulture in the Cape. He was amongst others, instrumental in introducing the classic Champagne varietals Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to the Cape Winelands and today the range pays tribute to his bold tenacity, innovation and unwavering spirit.

Inspired by mail art, also known as postal art and correspondence art which is a populist artistic movement centered around sending small scale works through the postal service, Sir Abner created a code through design – EOIC 3ULD – which when folded upwards translates to BOLD, reflecting the pioneering spirit of Desiderius Pongrácz.

Sir Abner transformed the military camouflage print which symbolises comradery and bravery, into black and white, and infused the design with the truly South African Shangaan Bag. The plastic-woven bags have become synonymous with migrants coming to Johannesburg filled with zeal, hope, courage and optimism.

Djembe

In this print, the juxtaposition of African culture meets modern design in typography. Inspired by showcasing the craftmanship that goes into making Pongrácz, this design captures the journey of creating, rather than the end product.

One of the things that intrigued Sir Abner was the idea of infinite possibilities and all of the work and thought, trial and error and organic processes that happen while trying to get to any required simplicity. While a circle is 'perfect', for Sir Abner, it's what happens around that circle to make it perfect that is interesting and is full of endless manifestations. In the Djembe print, the repeated outline around the font creates an infinite pattern which in turn creates a design filled with intricate possibilities.

Sir Abner likens this idea of infinite possibilities to the African Djembe drum which comes in many different forms and is used for various ceremonies and celebrations in African culture. The sound of the drum is the same every time but it’s the energy and way in which it is played that is mesmerising. And while the object itself is simple, there are boundless possibilities of what can be created.

Just like a stone thrown into a river causes an endless ripple effect with infinite possibilities, so too do the seven years of secondary fermentation inside the bottle. These years of fermentation are what form the delicate bubbles of Pongrácz, creating a spellbinding synergy of creativity, craft and elegance.

Nostalgia

Art and design can evoke many wistful and sentimental yearnings for the past. The evolution of design over centuries brings forth innovation, excitement and daring in creating that which at the time would seem impossible.

For Sir Abner, pop art, vintage stamps and lenticular super-hero sippy cups awaken a nostalgic memory of his curiosity as a child. Design from a time gone by brings forth the emotion and sentimentality that encourages a sense of meaning and creativity for future experiences.

In celebrating legendary iconography, Sir Abner incorporates one of the rare photographs of Desiderius Pongrácz. Inspired by the man, fondly known as Pongy, and his triumphant zeal, passion to create and vision that was bigger than him at the time, Sir Abner visually portrays Pongrácz’s iconic legacy – a legacy that to this day has a profound impact on viticulture and winemaking in South Africa.