A Billion Unique Yous

There’s a Coke for He. And She. And Her. And Me. And Them. There’s a different Coke for all of us. Especially one for Him. No feet have wandered where you’ve walked, No eyes saw what you’ve seen. No one’s lived the life you live. No head has held your dreams. To act the same would be mundane – what a boring thing to do! That’s why there is just one me and a billion unique yous. We all have different looks and loves, likes and dislikes, too – But there’s a Coke for we and us, and there’s a Coke for you. Coca Cola “Wonder of Us” 2017.

Andy Warhol Coca Cola [2] 1961

“The retail industry’s aim is to form brand awareness and ultimately produce sales. Warhol learned these tools quickly and well, honing skills that would underpin his career. This carried over into his fine art career in interesting ways: For instance, the mass production of goods—their sameness—has to be offset by a note of specialness for individual customers. Consider, in that light, the slight variations in the silkscreens Warhol would make beginning in the early 1960s, featuring repetitions of the same image, with slight differences between them. Another trade standard is the use of balance in visual displays to convey a sense of order, calm, or pleasure on the eye—three, or exponentials of it, is the prime number for decorative objects—in a glassware display, room setting, or, say, a gallery wall. It is exemplified in Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] (1963)… Warhol would employ such strategies throughout his life.” Darren Jones on the Warhol Retrospective, November 2018.

Andy Warhol Coca Coal [3] 1962

“… Warhol canvassed sophisticated friends in the fields of both art and commerce for ideas. After one suggested money, Warhol duly painted dollar bills. He asked others, in 1961, to vote on two paintings that he had made of a Coca-Cola bottle, the first in an expressively brushy style and the second shockingly stark, as if machine-made. They smartly plumped for the latter. Warhol’s notion of picturing subjects serially—not one Coke but row upon row of Cokes, every variety of Campbell’s soup, all but innumerable Marilyn Monroes—was his own, keyed to an emerging economy of brands that extended to celebrities. His indelible conception of fifteen-minute fame expressed the insight that the right manner of regarding things and people could generate effects of charisma. He adapted the dynamic of the New York School’s monumental paintings: monochromatic expanses, occasioning awe, like those of Barnett Newman, overlaid with moodily imperfect silk-screened photography of grisly car crashes, say, or the preternaturally beautiful face of Elizabeth Taylor, each fearsome in a peculiar way.” Peter Schjeldahl on Warhol, November 2018.

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