Spraypaint on Coca Cola bottle, initialled in pen, ('A.W.') on bottle cap.
"You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Cokes, Liz Taylor drinks Cokes, and just think, you can drink Coke, too." - ANDY WARHOL.
Warhol's fascination with the metalizing of everyday objects began in 1967 with a prize he created for a contest sponsored by the Sunday Magazine of the New York-World Journal Tribune. The prize was a silvered bomb. The contest winner recalled visiting the Warhol Factory and being disheartened that his prize was not one of the iconic commercial objects. Warhol famously stated: "It's so beautiful I couldn't ruin it by painting anything on it once I painted it silver. I've sat and stared at it for weeks. Isn't it beautiful?" (G. Frei and N. Printz,The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné Vol. 2B: Paintings and Sculpture 1964-1969, Phaidon, 2002, p. 279).
Warhol's next collection of silver spraypainted objects, executed in the same year as the bomb, were his Coca-Cola bottles, which made their visual premiere on the poster for the Museum of Merchandise for an exhibition produced by The Fine Arts Committee of the Philadelphia YMHA and arranged by Joan Kron and Audrey Sabol. The poster advertised Warhol's Coca-Cola bottles as being filled with toilet water and mischievously entitled "You're in." The outwardly shiny and slick bottles were, however, actually filled with "Silver Lining," an inexpensive cologne. By suggesting that this Coke bottle was filled with urine that had a cheap scent, Warhol seemed to defame the product that all Americas shared. Coca-Cola, however, was not amused and demanded that their production and sale be halted.
This work encapsulates Warhol's profound and unparalleled ability to both retain and destroy the commercial identity of the everyday object, and for Andy, silver was synonymous with the space-age, the future.
The Artist | Private Collection (Sweden) | Artificial Gallery (London)
Long Beach, University Art Museum, California State University, The Great American Pop Store: Multiples of the Sixties, August 26 - October 27, 1997, then traveled to Zimmerli Art Museum (November 22, 1997 - February 28, 1998), Baltimore Museum of Art (March 25 - May 31 1998), Montgomery Museum of Art (June 27 - August 23, 1998), Weisman Art Museum (September 18 - December 13, 1998), McNay Art Museum (January 18 - March 14, 1999) Josyln Museum of Art (October 23 - January 9, 2000), Lowe Art Museum (February 3 - March 26, 2000), Toldeo Museum of Art (June 4 - August 13, 2000) (another example exhibited)
J. O'Connor and B. Liu, Unseen Warhol, Cologne: Taschen, 1996, p. 120 (another example illustrated) G. Frei and N. Printz, eds., The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Sculptures 1964-1969, vol. 2B, London: Phaidon, 2004, cat no. 1937.12, p. 287 (another example illustrated) D. Hickey, Andy Warhol "Giant" Size, London: Phaidon, 2006, p. 135 (another example illustrated)