But that doesn't entirely explain it. People have been painting still lifes of wine bottles since forever. Arvid, without the benefit of formal training, changed the perspective and so invigorated the genre. "He's the first in how many years to change the look of a still life," says Wolf. "Instead of the sugar bowl/pear/fruit-on-a-flat-plane type of work -- which I call Grandma's still life -- this is our still life." Many of Arvid's paintings look down from above on their subjects. Explains Arvid, "That's the natural way we look at wine -- it's down on the counter or the table. In the traditional style of painting wine, you would have to put your chin on the table to see it that way."
Finally, says Wolf, "He's one of those pure talents. I'll be outside the gallery, and I'll hear people say, 'Why do I want a photograph of a wine bottle? I'll take my own photograph.' No, those are paintings. When you look at the realistic effect he gets from afar and then go up close and see the full painterly effect of what he's doing.... It makes other artists sick, because they'll train for years and they can't command a technique like this. For him to be self-taught and have this perspective -- he is a pure, pure talent."