Absolut Art Brochure

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absolut art
  ANDYWARHOL, ABSOLUT WARHOL , 1985 Copyright © 1985 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.Used by V&S Vin & Sprit Aktiebolag under exclusive license.ABSOLUT is a registered trademark of V&S Vin & Sprit Aktiebolag FROMBOURGEOISTOWARHOL THE STORY OF A SUCCESSFULRELATIONSHIP SINCE 1985.  32   nspiration was what prompted ABSOLUTto move in artistic cir-cles, and inspiration is what has nurtured that collaboration fornearly 20 years.When Andy Warhol first set eyes on an ABSOLUT VODKAbottlein 1985, he was inspired to put his brushes to work. The following year, the torch was passed to Keith Haring, and since then, over 400ABSOLUTmasterpieces have been created by artists from around theworld.People sometimes ask us about this somewhat unique form of sym-biosis. Besides the usual when, where and how, the most common ques-tion is Why? The answer is simply that we like being inspired by cre-ative people and their works. The art world is a great source of inspi-ration for us; it is also a tool for showing off various interpretations ofthe dynamic ABSOLUTbrand. In return, we provide means and mar-keting for both known and unknown artists, giving them exposure theymight not otherwise have. The formidable art collection that ABSOLUThas today was not amassed for financial reasons, but as a way toexpress the creativity of a brand. Our many years of collaboration andstated desire to respectively support the community of artists who havecontributed works have made ABSOLUT a part of that community ratherthan just a client.We’re very pleased with that development. IT’S ABOUT CREATIVITY. 1985 CONTENTS The beginnings of ABSOLUT ART, page 3Collections and exhibits, page 4Art curators, page 10The travels of a work of art, page 16Q&A, page 18 I “I LOVE THE PACKAGING,I LOVE THE FEELING OF IT…I WANT TO DO SOMETHING…”1995  ALEXIS ROMLÁZARO, ABSOLUT ROM LÁZARO  1998 FRANKHOLLIDAY, ABSOLUT HOLLIDAY  1989 JOYCETENNESON, ABSOLUT TENNESON  1994  ANGUSFAIRHURST, ABSOLUT FAIRHURST  1999 JAVIERMARISCAL, ABSOLUT MARISCAL Copyright © 1985 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Used by V&S Vin & SpritAktiebolag under exclusive license. ABSOLUT is a registered trademark of V&S Vin & Sprit Aktiebolag 2003 THOMAS GRÜNFELD, ABSOLUT BIENNALE  It might be hard to imagine today, but oneof the world’s most famous art advertisingcampaigns was actually never planned.Michel Roux, President of Carillon, U.SImporter of ABSOLUT VODKA until 1994,got in touch with Andy Warhol through afriend at Interview magazine. During a din-ner one night, Warhol had offered to painthis own interpretation of the ABSOLUTVODKAbottle, and Roux took him at hisword. Warhol himself didn’t drink, yet heliked the artistic expression in the bottleand according to the legend he admittedhe occasionally used the drink as a per-fume. The work of art that was unveiled in1985 received a great deal of attentionand was disseminated to the public in amagazine advertisement. Warhol offeredto do a whole series of ABSOLUT paint-ings, but Roux had a better idea. Warholwould be his link to the art world andhand-pick new artists for the same task: apersonal interpretation of the brand nameand the bottle. The concept of ABSOLUTART had been born.  If you look for a theme in the ABSOLUT art collection,the answer is that either there is none or maybe allartists just tend to think outside the box in one way orthe other. In the year 2000 ABSOLUT EGO project, This was taken onestep further with the ABSOLUT EGO project in 2000. 16 of the most ofthe most happening artists in Europe were asked to interpret ABSOLUTand themselves in the spacious premises at the Musée des Arts Décoratifsat the Palais du Louvre. The exhibition hall had been designed by TakaoHaraï, with lighting that evoked the sea and cool, repetitive music. Each artist had his or her own pavilion to fill with their own ego.There was a space with 1,000 fluorescent snails around the artist’sname (Kana) and an albino gorilla eating sunflowers (by Barceló). ThePolish artist Miroslav Balka completed the task by recreating parts ofhis life—the room was filled with half-burnt works of art from a fire inhis own studio in 1993. The floor was then covered with a thick layerof salt that symbolized Balka’s own sweat during the creation process.Visitors spent more time visiting Balka's “ego” because it actually tooklonger to get through the room. The srcin of this project came from ABSOLUT ORIGINALS, in whichABSOLUT EGO’s artists created advertisements for Time Magazine's pan-European version. These were published on a monthly basis from 1998. WHILE THE WORLD MAP WAS REDRAWN The cultural and political changes that swept the Soviet Union in thelate 1980s were some of the most revolutionary in modern times. When words like “glasnost” and “perestroika” were hottest—in June 1990—26 Soviet artists were given a unique opportunity to shine before an American public. In a 32-page exposé in Interview  magazine, the country’s most prominent painters each had a work published featuring the ABSOLUT VODKA bottle. The epoch-making project coincided with Gorbachev's visit to the U.S., and naturally, Gorbachev was presented with the first copy. Until then,Moscow had completely controlled cultural expression, only allowing a handful of regime-friendly artists to show their work abroad. That’s why ABSOLUT GLASNOST was so much more than a display window for a group of creators from one of the world’slargest dictatorships—it was a symbol of the struggle for freedom, which had grown in strength and would culminate in the his-torical dissolution of the USSR in 1991.54 THE EUROPEANUNION OF EGOS DAN WOLGERS, ABSOLUT WOLGERS  , 1999MAURIZIOCATTELAN, ABSOLUT CATTELAN  , 1998CHRISOFILI, ABSOLUT OFILI  , 1996FRANCESCO CLEMENTE, ABSOLUT CLEMENTE  , 1999 BORIS MATROSOV, ABSOLUT MATROSOV  ,1989 The city of Venice has regulated the numberof gondola licenses to 405. This has led tothe licenses becoming extremely hot proper-ty; and if you’ve got hold of one, you don’t let it go—either they aresold for a great deal of money, or they stay in the family. Yet this did not stop Austrian architect Hans Hollein from placing agondola in a 15-meter long inflatable ship-in-a-bottle of a certain well-known profile, when ABSOLUT GENERATIONS hit the Biennale inVenice in 2003. The idea behind the ABSOLUT GENERATIONSproject was to delveinto the roles of mentor and protégé. Thirteen established artists chose younger, up-and-coming artists to work with, and the same number ofinstallations were featured at the world’s largest international exhibi-tion—the 50th Venice Biennale in the Pallazzo Zenobio. It was the firsttime a commercial brand had participated in the exhibition. The themeof this year’s Biennale was Dreams and Conflicts—the Dictatorship ofthe Viewer, a perfect concept for the GENERATIONSartists. One of themore spectacular joint projects was Oleg Kulik’s collaboration with theduo the Blue Noses—a video installation consisting of 55 sketches witha vodka-drinking monkey that gradually metamorphosed into CharlesDarwin. The Blue Noses’ own work was a bottle cut in the ice of lakeShartash, with the two artists swimming in a freezing cold hole in theice. Sasha Shaburov can’t swim, so he refused to let go of the edge ofthe ice when being photographed. They commented on their derring-do,“We won’t get in that ice-hole again for all the money in the world!”   THE FRIENDLY TAKEOVER Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,consectetaur adipisicing elit,sed do eiusmod tempor.HANS HOLLEIN, ABSOLUT HOLLEIN  , 2003OLEGKULIK, ABSOLUT KULIK  , 2003BLUENOSES, ABSOLUT BLUE NOSES  , 2003 COLLECTIONS ANDEXHIBITSCOLLECTIONS ANDEXHIBITS  76 UNITED STATES OF ART  A country as large as a continent sure has a lot to offer. Or, as novelist Edward M. Forster put it: ”America israther like life. You can usually find init what you look for. It will probably be interesting, and it is sure to belarge. This is what makes ABSOLUTSTATEHOODso interesting: one artist in every single state—and one in Washington DC—was contacted tointerpret and depict his or her state inan innovative way.Beginning in 1991, a new painting was published every other week inUSA Today, a newspaper with areadership of six million. The cam-paign continued for two years and was extremely successful. Besides themedia exposure, 300 lithographs ofeach painting were printed. The rev-enues from the sales went in theirentirety to the Design IndustriesFoundation for AIDS, resulting in over$4.5 million donated to research onthe incurable disease. A book wasalso published, with all the works inthe project and brief descriptions ofthe people behind them—51extremely gifted artists who all put their very personal touch on the ABSOLUT collection. The release of the Beatles’ groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper’sLonely Hearts Club Band in 1967 coincided with a new erain popular music. Suddenly, the art of the sleeve was almostas appreciated and analyzed as the music inside. That verysame year, Andy Warhol designed the cover for the Velvet Undergroundand Nico, instantly lending credence to the new idea that art and pop-ular music could lead a symbiotic existence.The idea behind ABSOLUT ALBUM COVERSwas to celebrate thediversity and creativity in the art of sleeve designs. Classic covers by thelikes of David Bowie, John & Yoko, Judas Priest, Nina Hagen, the VelvetUnderground and INXS were subtly spiced up with bottles. The resultswere displayed in ads in Rolling StoneMagazine, premiering with ABSOLUT BOWIEinthe fall of 2001. The first ad, a reworking of theandrogynous cover of Aladdin Sane, was muchappreciated by Mr. Bowie himself. “When I started out, I used the covers on myalbums to give a visual picture to my music.Now, as I look back, I am able to recall momentsof my past through those images. I believe thatABSOLUT is bringing a significant part of music’shistory back into the forefront, and I am glad tohave been chosen to be part of it.”  AN ABSOLUTBOTTLE UPTHE SLEEVE © JACKE.DAVIS, ABSOLUT NEBRASKA , 1991 To add a little more luster to the 20-year jubilee thrownby ABSOLUT and the retrospective “Greatest Hits”exhibition ABSOLUT EXHIBITION in the VanderbiltHall in New York’s Grand Central Terminal, leg-endary photographer Annie Liebovitz was given a call. Together withVanity Fair, Liebovitz was given the assignment of photographing 20superstars. Seen among those posing with their favorite ABSOLUT adswere author Salman Rushdie, Sex and the City actress Sarah JessicaParker and composer Philip Glass. When comedian Jerry Lewis want-ed to pose with his mouth tightly closed round a tumbler, Liebovitzprotested, but Lewis stood his ground with the words, “Listen, you justtake the picture, I’ll do the funny.” The exhibition, designed by theGuggenheim’s Sean Mooney, featured all aspects of ABSOLUT ARTand drew more than 40,000 visitors over a 10-day period in June2000. As well as Liebovitz, ABSOLUT PAIKwas also unveiled—across-border creation made of iron, neon, video and an electric circuit,by the godfather of video art, the American-Korean artist Nam JunePaik. Marion Kahan, curator for the exhibition, believes that Paik's sig-nificance can not be overstated: “Nam June Paik is the founder ofvideo art as we know it, as a movement. He took the collection to thenext step and into the new millennium.” BRIGHTLIGHTS,BIG CITY  NAMJUNEPAIK, ABSOLUT PAIK  , 2000 ABSOLUT HAGEN  , 2002 ART BY THE BOOK  After a happy 20-year period ofmatrimony with art, it was time for ABSOLUT to write down what hadhappenedto both partners over the years, especially since both the publicand the art community were curious tofind out. The result was ABSOLUT ART,a 240-page, limited edition book that features about a hundred art worksfrom the collection.One of the works that received themost attention when many of thepieces were displayed atMillesgårdenin Stockholm – and in the book as well – is also the emptiest from a visu-al point of view, and requires anexplanation: what appears to be atotally white canvas is in fact morethan a month’s work by Glasgow-based artist Douglas Gordon.Every day between January 6thand February 10th 1992, he paintedthe canvas with 540 ml of ABSOLUT VODKA. Each application was allowedto saturate over a period of 24 hoursuntil the process could restart.In total, he used 18,900 ml of vodka, or twenty-seven 70 cl bottles.Straight up. DOUGLASGORDON, ABSOLUT GORDON  , 1992 COLLECTIONS ANDEXHIBITSCOLLECTIONS ANDEXHIBITS
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