Andy Warhol, Perrier (1983); © Christie's Images / The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
It's been 26 years since Andy Warhol died, but the Pop Art innovator's imprimatur still moves product like none other.
That's nothing new, of course. Warhol has been an eminently marketable brand name for over half a century. The latest example comes from Perrier, which is revivifying four Perrier-based designs that Warhol created in 1983 for a series of limited-edition bottles.
As the art blog Hyperallergic reports, the sparkling water maker has collaborated with artists before (notably, Salvador Dali, in 1969) and is acting on the heels of similarly upscale collaborations by its competitor, San Pellegrino, which recently teamed with Missoni and Bulgari to design some of its bottle labels. "It's an interesting act to follow," writer Mostafa Heddaya notes. He continues:
"With Perrier's new initiative to be read either as corporate one-upmanship -- I'll see your designer and raise you an artist -- or as a comment on Warhol's relative stature as a producer of iconic consumer symbols, an anchor to the ephemeral imagery of fashion and advertising."
Only Perrier knows its own motivations; still Warhol's status as "an anchor" amid pop culture's vast sea of images is indisputable. Few, if any, artists rival his contribution to our mass media lexicon. Warhol-as-name-brand is as safe a bet as ever.
Here are a few Christie's favorites from recent years, accompanied by quotes from the master illustrator himself: