Apple 359 is a screenprint created by Andy Warhol that has appropriated the logo for Macintosh Computers. The logo, which is now as ubiquitous as the fruit itself, maintains the original design and rainbow color scheme. However, Warhol adds his trademark sketched lines and vibrant hues to give the original design an unmistakably Warholian influence.
The Apple screenprint hails from Warhol’s Ads series, published in 1985 by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. The portfolio comprises iconic advertising imagery from the 1950s through the 1980s, showcasing famous ads from the likes of Chanel, Life savers, and Disney.
Commissioned by Del Yocam, Apple’s very first COO, Apple 359 came just one year after the first Macintosh model was released by the electronics company. It was well-timed as Warhol’s famously commercialistic style no doubt made an imprint on buyers everywhere. Though the Pop-Artist’s version of the starring apple of the Macintosh brand mirrors that of the original emblem, the work still incorporates Warhol’s flamboyant flair. The apple, alive with color, is a rainbow layered over a background that resembles something of clouds in a sunset. A playful canvas for a seriously successful business, the Macintosh legacy looks as if it was written in crayon.
Andy Warhol met Apple’s founder Steve Jobs in 1985, the year of Apple 359’s genesis. It was Sean Lennon’s ninth birthday party and everyone sat around and explored the magic of Macpaint on a Macintosh model Sean received as a gift from Jobs. Warhol wrote in his diaries of the event: “I said that once some man had been calling me a lot wanting to give me one, but that I’d never called him back or something, and then the kid looked up and said, ‘Yeah, that was me. I’m Steve Jobs.’ And he looked so young, like a college guy. And he told me that he would still send me one now… I felt so old and out of it with this young whiz guy right there who’d helped invent it.” Jobs clearly didn’t feel slighted as he taught Warhol how to paint on the model that same evening.
Alongside Apple, Warhol’s Ads portfolio reinvents the most notable of emblems, trademarks, and logos and speaks to the subconscious influence branding has on American consumption patterns. At its center, the portfolio is an exploration of pop culture and how celebrity becomes even more celebrity through branded imagery. Made up of iconography from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, Ads encompasses Mobil Gas, Blackgama, Chanel, Rebel Without a Cause, Paramount, Van Heusen, Volkswagen, Life Savers, and of course, Apple.