Andy Warhol, ‘You're In’, 1967, Artificial Gallery

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.

About Andy Warhol

Obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production, Pop artist Andy Warhol created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. As famous for his quips as for his art—he variously mused that “art is what you can get away with” and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”—Warhol drew widely from popular culture and everyday subject matter, creating works like his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Brillo pad box sculptures, and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, using the medium of silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color. Known for his cultivation of celebrity, Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons, among countless others.

American, 1928-1987, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York