Welcome to Volume 1 of our “Art of Beer” series, in which we interview local Georgia artists and chat about the intersection of art and beer.
Who really is Sad Stove? ATLiens will find the stove in the form of free art all over the city, but not many people know the human behind the kitchen appliance. So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to bring you the voice behind the saddest stove inside the perimeter. In fact, we were so infatuated by this infamous caricature that we dedicated our English Mild for American Mild Month in Sad Stove’s name.
How did Sad Stove get started?
I’ve always been messing around with graphic design work and a buddy of mind told me about Free Art Friday and all these artists who do it. I really like the idea of giving art to people. I wanted to make something and I was cooking with my friend and having a couple beers when something splattered out of the pot and onto the stove and it made a face. When I looked at it it looked like a mustache or a frown and I thought, “It’s definitely a sad face.” We laughed for a good 30 minutes looking at the sad face on the stove and we just called it Sad Stove. Eventually I started getting a following and people started finding the art and I kept seeing how happy it made them.
Why do you choose to remain anonymous?
It’s three years now and only a few artists know me because of get-togethers. We’d have little art parties and people would ask, “Where’s Sad Stove?” and I’d walk away. I want it to be as organic as possible. I want it to stand alone and be the stove that it is.
What do you like about the craft brewery scene?
I like the variety and the styles and uniqueness that each brewery brings to the table. You kinda know what to expect from each, and its also interesting to experience new beers that aren’t so mainstream. I like how craft breweries, especially Monday Night, keep coming out with new things and different twists. Like most art, there’s not a lot of boundaries.
A lot of my friends who are artists drink craft beers. We get together and we drink and we draw. I think beer goes hand-in-hand with art. It gets you a little loose. And we drink good beer, you know? It’s not a “Miller Lite and Paint Party.”
How did the Sad Stove Mild come about?
I’d been talking to my buddy Brody about making Sad Stove tears around Atlanta for people to find. He tweeted me about it and on a whim he tweeted Monday Night saying he thinks they should make Sad Stove tears. Jonathan hit me up and said we’re in. It blew my mind and I said sure. He invited me at 6am on a Tuesday to help brew the mild. Jonathan said he wanted to brew a beer for American Mild Month and he thought the Sad Stove image was a great representation of a mild beer.
Did you ever think your artwork would become the inspiration behind a local beer?
Never. I always wanted to do artwork for beer cans and things like that, but I never thought there would be a relation between the two. It’s funny when you think about it because when people are sad they’ll grab a beer. And I think it’s interesting how Sad Stove can be attributed to an overlooked type of beer.