Guy Overfelt wants to elevate the humble bong into a true piece of art. The Baltimore-born, San Francisco-based conceptual artist designed a limited-edition bong inspired by Pablo Picasso's 1952 ceramic, Sujet Poisson (Fish Subject). Picasso made 500 of the original, one of which fetched $7,500 this year at a Sotheby's auction, while Overfelt made only 50 of his Sujet Poisson Bongs.
"It was when I got into the art world, while working as a preparator in an Upper West Side gallery in New York, that kind ofsparked the idea for the Picasso Bong series," recalled the artist. "A throwback to when my friends and I used to make different bongs and bowls out of anything we could find. A gravity bong from a milk jug in the kitchen sink, or a bowl made of plumbing parts from the hardware store. The more inventive, the better. At the time, I was holding a Picasso vase thinking, 'What is this, a gravy boat? This could be a killer bong.'"
Upon making the comment, the gallery owner fired Overfelt, but the bong idea stuck with him. He had counterfeiting and forgery laws to overcome, but with a little help from overseas, he finally made his Picasso bong dream a reality.
But Sujet Poisson is not the artist's first Picasso bong. Over the years, Overfelt made several different bongs inspired by Picasso that can be seen in the slider below.
The Sujet Poisson Bongs—each individually stamped and marked—are made with earthenware clay and feature a hand-blown glass bowl and stem. Available from SFAQ Projects, the Sujet Poisson Bongs sell for $420.