'Corrections' Is A Wine Collection WIth Labels That Challenge Inmate Stereotypes
by Rudy Sanchez on 10/18/2022 | 3 Minute Read
The Prisoner Wine Company is a wine brand that creates bold blends and even bolder labels. What's more, the winery's name and flagship label found inspiration in Spanish artist Francisco Goya’s The Prisoners, a series of etchings consisting of three pieces offering a critique of judicial torture depicting shackled and restrained men in stress positions.
In addition to the influence of Goya’s work, The Prisoner is actively involved in raising awareness and funding support for justice reform. Such efforts include supporting theEqual Justice Initiative, which provides legal representation to the illegally convicted, those serving harsh and unfair sentences, and the folks facing abuse behind bars. Last year, The Prisoner started a partnership with NBA player Moe Harkless to support bail and incarceration reform, and they also assist The Liberty Fund, NYC’s first citywide charitable bail fund.
The latest collection from The Prisoner is called Corrections, a trio of wines (a Malbec, Tempranillo, and a Viognier) featuring labels by Los Angeles artist Chris Burnett. The three collages, Finding Flowers, New Hope, and The Other Side, invite viewers to look past their own prejudices about inmates.
According to the NAACP, the United States represents 5% of the world’s population yet houses a quarter of the world's inmates. The U.S. also disproportionately imprisons POC, and the NAACP says the incarceration rate for African Americans is five times the rate of whites.
“I wanted to convey a hopeful tone with layered and energetic visuals and encourage people to look past the stereotypes that often define prisoners like ‘criminal,’ ‘addict,’ and ‘felon,’" Burnett said. “Flowers are a universally beautiful symbol and represent growth and transformation, as well as life and death, and I love to incorporate flowers in my illustrations. For New Hope, you can see a rose growing from inside a prison cell, juxtaposed against the hopeful expression of a person looking towards the future.
"Even amidst isolation, uncertainty, and pain, change is possible, hope is powerful, and progress is coming," Burnett added. "This work inspires us to imagine a better future in which meaningful reform is made to our prison system.”
For The Other Side bottle, a hand reaches up from a dangerous environment, greeted by another hand trying to pull it to safety. “This illustration represents the desire to connect with others and to extend empathy to those in need," Burnett said. "It challenges the viewer to bridge the divide and recognize their responsibility to call out and correct injustice.”
For Finding Flowers, Burnett used his own silhouette for the label. “I incorporated flowers again here because, to me, even the smallest act of finding a flower can help us tap into our emotions and help us overcome difficult situations," he explained. "This label features a prisoner sitting peacefully inside a cell, admiring a flower found nearby. That elicits a feeling of good fortune and optimism by simply appreciating life's beauty, fragility, and persistence, wherever it appears."
With the overall collection, Burnett's work asks the viewer to reflect on the resilience of humanity wherever it's found, even inside a prison. "Incarcerated individuals deserve dignity, and this work invites us to honor the humanity in every person’s story, regardless of their past,” he said.
A portion of the proceeds from sales of Corrections will also get donated to Rubicon Programs, a San Francisco nonprofit organization devoted to ending systemic inequality and fighting poverty.
Corrections is now available exclusively at ThePrisonerWineCompany.com for $225.