Vessels are handmade objects used to carry liquid for human consumption. The contents are often essential to life, ritualistic and pleasurable. Vessels have contained similar meaning throughout different time periods and cultures. This gallery includes such receptacles from various geographical locations. All are decorated to enhance their utilitarian purpose depicting floral motifs or narratives from mythology and Christianity. Gold, silver, precious stones, enamels and glazes enhance their beauty and elevate the status of the objects.
Darío Escobar’s work, Untitled (McDonald’s Cup), a disposable cup meant to hold soda is now gilded in gold leaf and painted to refer to Spanish colonialism. As the vessels in this gallery likely served ritualistic functions, Escobar responds to this tradition by transforming an item of throw-away consumer culture into something that, in the distant future, might be mistaken for a ceremonial object. Escobar’s treatment adds a spiritual dimension to McDonald’s Golden Arches logo.