Love him, or hate him, Andy Warhol left an irrevocable impression upon product promotion – reimaging the supposedly mundane, a consumable, an item of little interest and rocketing it into pop-fame-orbit. His artwork may almost be seen as a form of wordless copy. The impression of the “Campbell’s soup can” has become indelible.
The time was ripe for a character like Andy to find a niche which would secure him fame and fortune. Billboard and poster advertising became a preferred medium and splashed with post war colour, items were aligned with promises of “A good Life” . Then there was the explosion of plastic. ”I love Los Angeles, and I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.” Read more Warholian quotes at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/andywarhol162032.html#yl75X9ZWMdrcu2uO.99
Having commercially illustrated for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and the New Yorker, he succumbed to the allure of the avant-garde, the underground and the distinctly bizarre.
His ability to recognise the paradoxes in art, and to create an oil-and-water synergy on the substrate , reinforced his fame as the first hugely successful pop/reproductive artists of his time. His own brand of commercialisation is apparent in his art, a product of the bygone era, of the notorious Warhol factory- by the same token his opinions were sought after, his statements adopted as mantra. In fact he coined the expression “Fifteen minutes of fame”. Warhol was heralding the way forward for music, theatre, film and of course advertising and in his own inimitable way, he was solidifying the concept of branding.
He made this widely publicised comment about the accessibility of the “American Dream” and the Coca Cola brand, thereby rendering the two almost synonymous:
“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.”
This was of course all recorded prior to Coke’s ill-timed, albeit temporary (three months to rectify) formula-change in 1985 (Pepsi did not miss a beat!). I wonder what Warhol’s take on this debacle would have been? Despite this hiccough Coke, just like Warhol, remains a legend.
I do think Warhol would have enjoyed the name of this site……
My intention for Justlikevinyl is that it should digitally showcase the content and copy I have created – a portfolio of sorts but I can’t resist the blog aspect. From time to time, I will be posting anecdotes, suggestions, tips and stories…..all the rich and colourful threads of an experience tapestry of sorts. The threads of my evolution as a writer.
And hey – I may even throw in a bit of plastic.