Multimedia Artist Melissa Sutherland Moss Talks Artistic CAMUS Cognac Collaboration

By Bianca Gracie | October 23, 2023

VsopUSFaceEtui.jpgCAMUS' limited edition artist series bottle with Melissa Sutherland Moss. Photo courtesy of CAMUS.

CAMUS Cognac, the largest family-owned Cognac house in the world with a luxurious selection of aromatic blends, continues to elevate its presence stateside with its newest collaboration.

The house partnered with interdisciplinary artist Melissa Sutherland Moss for a limited edition "Artist Series" bottle. The pairing brings together the beliefs of both CAMUS Cognac and Moss herself: family entrepreneurship and belief in using art as a form of self-expression. This year’s bottle design—a sleek black bottle with a family collage who are feasting and celebrating among a colorful backdrop—showcases Melissa’s art and celebrates the family and friends who have supported her along the way.

“This is a visual story that narrates the power of unity and families breaking bread together in style and grace," Moss shared. "Inspired by memory, this collage presents a lavish and opulent gathering with family and friends in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY.”

Below, the artist speaks more about the bottle's curation with EDITION.

Artist Melissa Sutherland Moss. Photo courtesy of CAMUS.

READ MORE: Aria F. Wright On CAMUS Cognac U.S. Brand Ambassadorship & Women Leading The Charge

Can you discuss the significance of the people on the bottle? It seems like their features are cut & pasted from different faces.

In the spirit of lavish dinners with family and friends during holidays and special occasions, I was inspired to create a collage that displays Black people breaking bread together. The individuals in the collage are cut-out features from various people including myself, close friends and family members. This artistic choice represents the idea of diversity across the African-American diaspora. By combining different features from various individuals, the artwork symbolizes the coming together of different people and celebrates the beauty of diversity. It highlights the notion that each person's unique features contribute to the collective beauty of humanity.

Is there a reason behind opting for a black bottle?

The reasoning behind opting for a black bottle is to convey a sense of elegance, sophistication, and luxury. The black color is often associated with these qualities, which is what I think of when considering Black communities. By choosing a black bottle it adds a touch of refinement and exclusivity to the product, aligning with the brand's image and positioning in the market. Furthermore, the black bottle serves as a powerful visual representation of the brand's commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusivity. Black communities have a rich cultural heritage and have made significant contributions to various fields, including art, music, literature, and more. By showcasing a black bottle, the brand acknowledges and pays homage to these contributions.

CAMUS-8023_Aria_F_Wright_Melissa_Sutherland_Moss_2.jpgCAMUS Cognac's U.S. Brand Ambassador Aria F. Wright (left) and Melissa Sutherland Moss at the official launch event. It took place on Oct. 17 at the Brooklyn Bank, with Amber Lee Forrester as the host, tap master Omar Edwards, DJ Goldfinger and mixologist Bartender Lisa. Photo courtesy of CAMUS.

Do you see any parallels between CAMUS’ mission (carrying on a legacy, importance of self-expression, etc) and your artwork?

There are several parallels between CAMUS' mission and my artwork. Both CAMUS and my artwork value the importance of carrying on a legacy and preserving tradition. CAMUS is known for its rich history and commitment to producing high-quality products, which aligns with my focus on celebrating and honoring the cultural heritage of Black communities. Additionally, both CAMUS and my artwork emphasize the significance of self-expression. CAMUS expresses its vision and creativity through the craftsmanship and design of its products, while my artwork reflects my personal creativity and self-expression through the use of collage and symbolism.

One theme that I believe you both share is the idea of celebration, which your design showcases. Was that your intention for the bottle?

The intention behind the bottle design was indeed to convey a sense of family and celebration. The collage artwork on the bottle features Black individuals breaking bread together, symbolizing the coming together of diverse people and celebrating the beauty of Black communities. The design aims to capture the spirit of lavish dinners with family and friends during holidays and special occasions, where laughter fills the air, and bonds are strengthened. By showcasing the joy, love, and togetherness that comes with celebration, the bottle design aligns perfectly with the idea of celebration that both CAMUS and the artwork share.

Is there anything else you have in the works that readers could look forward to this year?

At the moment, my main focus is on my academic pursuits and preparing for my upcoming thesis at school. I am fully immersed in my studies, dedicating my time and energy to deepening my knowledge and honing in on my crafts.

Close-up of CAMUS' limited edition artist series bottle with Melissa Sutherland Moss. Photo courtesy of CAMUS.