Monday, February 13, 2017

Andy Warhol | You're In

Andy Warhol
You're In
New York City, USA: Self-published, 1967
20.3 × 5.7 × 5.7 cm
Edition of 100 numbered and dated copies

An edition of one hundred Coke bottles spray-painted silver and filled with "toilet water", which was actually a cheap scent titled Silver Lining. The simple works, which have reportedly fetched as much as $100,000 at auction, incorporate many of the artist's interests, including Coca-Cola (which Warhol had previously both drawn and silkscreened), the colour silver (his stated favourite), urine (the pun of the title, see also Piss Paintings) and scent.

"Another way to take up more space is with perfume," he wrote in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again. Elsewhere in the book he notes "I switch perfumes all the time. If I’ve been wearing one perfume for three months, I force myself to give it up, even if I still feel like wearing it, so whenever I smell it again it will always remind me of those three months. I never go back to wearing it again; it becomes part of my permanent smell collection."

He describes this collection of perfumes as "very big" in 1975, and there are several mentions of the collection in the diary that he kept in the later years of his life. Warhol confessed to snooping through medicine cabinets at parties, not to uncover personal secrets of the hosts, but in the hopes of discovering a new brand of perfume that he was not yet aware of. 

In 1999 - twelve years after his death - production began on a signature line of perfumes. The scents were designed by others and the boxes featured classic Warhol imagery, such as the flowers, dollar signs and Marilyn Monroe. 

The Coca-Cola company - who now proudly own many of Warhol's work using the iconic symbol of the Coke bottle - initially objected to his first foray into smell, serving him with a cease and desist letter.

“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. 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. 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. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.”
- Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again

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