Analysis of Andy Warhol’s Coke Bottles
Andy Warhol (1928?-1987) was my natural choice when I wanted to look
into packaging. He was finely tuned to the tedium of modern
mass-culture, conveying and indeed revelling in the banality of the
images proliferating around him: for example Campbell's Soup Cans
(Chicken with Rice, Beans with Bacon) (1962), Liz (1964) and Brillo
Box (Soap Pads) (1964).
He is probably the most famous member of the Pop Art movement.
Virtually any image that was in the public domain was a prime target
for the Warhol treatment.
I, consequently, had a plethora of work from this artist. I wanted to
carry Coca-Cola’s prominence from my last piece of work into this one.
That is why I want to concentrate on Warhol’s fascination with the
Coca-Cola Contour bottle.
I want to create a piece of work reminiscent to Warhol’s Coca-Cola
silkscreen prints such as 210 Coke Bottles (1962) and Three
Coca-Cola/Coke Bottles (1962). Yet, I also want to incorporate his
style from earlier works (that won him a Carnegie Gold Medal), which
use the blotted line technique that employs watercolour and gold leaf.
These two mediums as well as silkscreen printing appeal to me very
much; thus, this would help me create a work that transcends his
career and the techniques he used while concentrating on the theme of
The Coca-Cola bottle was the idea of Benjamin F. Thomas who thought
that Coca-Cola, a new and fast growing beverage should have an
idiosyncratic bottle. Thus, he wrote a short brief about this
proposal, which was read by Alexander Samuelsson, a Swedish innovator
whose passion was working with glass.
Samuelsson researched and read about the cocoa bean and this had
started a process that would give birth to the most iconic piece of
packaging of the 20th century.
Due to the bottle’s iconic and omnipresent qualities, it was the ideal
emblem for Pop Art. First adopted by Robert Rauschenberg and then more
famously by Warhol. Warhol, whose background lay in advertising,
thought the image of the six and a half ounce Coca-Cola Contour bottle
was perfect. He initially hand drew, and then placed it in repetitive
prints using the silkscreen process.
The first step in Warhol’s silkscreen printing process was choosing an
image. Warhol found images for his painting from a variety of sources,
but this is one he drew himself such as A la Recherché du Shoe Perdu
Warhol then selected and cropped an area of the source image he wanted
to make up the final silk-screened painting. Next, Warhol sent his
cropped image to a photographic studio to have it transferred into a
high contrast black and white image on transparent film. This
transparency is called a film positive, which is used to burn the
image onto the silkscreen.
Warhol then sent the film...