“You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too.” – Andy Warhol
Whether they were prosaic objects from day to day life or celebrities whose images were splashed across the tabloids, American symbols and items of consumption served as Warhol’s artistic muses. Warhol begun to translate this fascination with pop culture into art in the early 1960’s, a period of time where advertisements began to inundate every street corner and television screen. He was particularly interested in the Coca-Cola logo, a symbol that continues to be one of the most recognized symbols in the world.
From the 1950’s as an advertisement illustrator to the 1980’s as a full blown pop artist, Warhol catered to mass culture, making art recognizable to all walks of society— from the middle class and unknown to the rich and famous. Warhol considered these symbols as ultimate equalizers, which were created and distributed in America, the only country “where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. 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.” Andy re-formulated mundane symbols into world-class icons, creating works of art that would eventually sell for millions, making him the “King of Pop Art” or in this case, the “King of (Soda) Pop”.
The intrinsic and commercial value of Warhol’s creations became startling evident in 1988, when his 210 Coca-Cola Bottles was estimated to be sold at Sotheby’s in New York for anywhere between $700,000 and $900,000, but instead sold for $1.4 million. This was a year after Warhol’s death and only the beginning of many record breaking sales to come.
Since 1988, the market for a Warhol original painting has increased dramatically. In November 2013, Warhol’s 1962 Coca-Cola (3) sold for $57 million, a symbol that has clearly not gone out of style. The classic Coca Cola logo of the elegant Loki Cola font set against a vibrant red background is an unmistakable symbol of one of the most popular carbonated beverages in the world, a valiant effort put forth by the marketing of the Coca Cola company. But its elevated prestige as something to be considered valuable enough to hang upon one’s wall as a work of high art is of none other than Warhol. Without Warhol, the Coca Cola logo would be restricted to cans, bottles and billboards.
Here at Revolver Gallery we honor the classics and pay homage to the brilliant inner workings of Pop Rockstar, Andy Warhol. Stop by at 9459 Charleville Blvd. off S Beverly Dr. Beverly Hills 90212 Tues-Sat 10am to 3pm to observe the genius of the ultimate “King of Pop Art”.