The Art of the Delinquent

The unforgettable faces of our tattooed delinquent characters have appeared on our labels since our first release back in 2013. The collection of these six unruly ruffians were conceived to stare you down and catch your eye amongst the crowded labels on the bottle shop shelf. The very last thing they are trying to do is fit in. Each character, with their unique tattoos and peculiar back stories, sew together a larger tale about the Delinquente brand and our values. The artwork, which also spans across our cartons, website, online animations, and printed merchandise, each add a layer to a broader story about independence, resistance, and justice. We dare to represent the spirit of the delinquent, the story of the rebel. One that does things their own way. A story which speaks to our approach to making wine and building community. Our motivation is about carving a new path and doing what’s right.

Creating the artwork for Delinquente over the last 7 years has involved developing an entire universe of graphic material which continually delves deeper into this concept. I’ve aimed to use my personal experience as a full-time miscreant and part time artist to bring an authenticity to the brand. Each new project affords me the opportunity to artistically explore different social and political aspects of delinquency, including mental health, morality, and our systems of law and order.

In the eyes of our six feisty characters I wish to inject the symbol of dissidence, resistance, and independence. Like Ned Kelly, Malcom X and Angela Davis, the outlaw is often a renegade and not always the villain. To this end, we raise a glass to the outsiders who never seek approval, but stand up and speak bravely for a better world. These voices come from the outcasts and the ignored; the marginalized and traditionally repressed. Our line-up of delinquents are intentionally drawn to represent a diversity of badass folks from all genders, races, sexualities and religious beliefs. They are strong femmes and Black power warriors. Fighters for LGBTQ+ liberation and immigrant dreamers. These are who Delinquente support for real change. These are the fierce and brave voices who we stand with against bigotry, hate and prejudice. 

While we always aim to be an ally, it’s imperative to continually check our privileges, biases and ignorances. The ongoing and hugely necessary conversations about race and representation are fuel for us to consider how we could do better, so we turned to look at how our labels portrayed BIPOC. As the artist of these labels, I recognize that as a white, middle-class male, my attempt to authentically represent people of marginalized backgrounds will always come with inherent bias. We pledge to always listen more, do better and stand up for a better world. We've worked to further develop the wine labels with a richer, more informed approach to the spirit of the delinquent. Look out for the same fiery independence with a deeper story and stronger understanding.

Delinquente Wine Co. was born out of a necessity to break the rules. We stand with those who’ve fought for their voice to be heard, their power to be seen, their space to be held. Because the rules of yesterday need to break in order to create a better tomorrow.

~ Jay Koen

DLQ Artist