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Edition of 1200 copies of which 300 are signed 1-300, 26 copies are signed A-Z as artist's proofs, and five sets are signed as progressives.

July 27, 1978 Nine colors 24" x 18" Influence: Aristide Malliol

Client: Alice Louise Waters, Chez Panisse Restaurant, 1517 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley CA 94709. Telephone (510) 548-5525 A-Z: Artist's own use

The client liked the design, and the public liked it, but the United States Government didn't like it. Not the whole government- just the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Despite their name, they do not exist to promote these things, but rather to protect us from all three, preferably by eliminating them altogether.

This design was originally done for Kenwood Winery as a wine label, but the ATF ruled that (and I quote) "the drawing of the young lady must be deleted. More specifically, the Bureau regards the picture as 'obscene or indecent.'" OK. No naked dames. They said it would be acceptable if we put a black bikini on her. I didn't like that idea. Since we finally got them to admit that it was the skin, the naked skin, that offended them, I redrew the design and eliminated the skin. We then resubmitted Kenwood's label with a recumbent skeleton on a vineyard hillside.

After a bit of hemming and hawing, the ATF rejected that design, too. Some song and dance about fetal alcohol syndrome. Hard to deal with an agency that can just make up rules as they go along. Chez Panisse, fortunately, is not much subject to ATF scrutiny, so we adapted the design to its "seven year itch" party. The young lady probably got poison oak and a sunburn, so it's not so far-fetched as you might think. The ATF has gotten a lot tougher in recent years. I guess I should be grateful that they didn't kill me.

In February 1996, Kenwood re-submitted the design and it was approved without demur. Thus, the first in Kenwood's "artist's series" labels became the design for the 20th anniversary of the series, the 1994 wine, issued in 1998. When asked about the volte-face, a representative of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms replied, in essence, that times had changed.

Where they have not changed, apparently, is in Ohio, the Board of Liquor Control of which, in October 1998,

". . . determined that the 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon label does not advertise the product in a dignified makeup and that the label is considered offensive to the good taste of the public. Accordingly, this letter is to advise that the foregoing label is disapproved."

So there.