How about some art for your closet? Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo recently tied up with the Warhol Foundation to reproduce some of the artists' most ubiquitous pieces—such as Campbell Soup and Dollar Signs—on their popular basic shirts and I was lucky enough to receive one as a gift!
Andy Warhol, one of the most notable modern artists, turns out to be one of the most commercial as well. While most artists work to make their creations exclusive, highly valuable, or one-of-a-kind, Warhol did the complete opposite. Fellow artist Richard Hamilton explains Warhol’s pop art as “popular, transient, expendable, low cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, big business.”
“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art,” Warhol once said. “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”
Aside from celebrity and fame, Warhol also embraced the concept of money making the world go ‘round and often alluded to these ideas in his productions. "I’d asked around 10 or 15 people for suggestions. Finally one lady friend asked the right question, ‘Well, what do you love most?’ That’s how I started painting money." Posthumously, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts took over the copyrights and trademarks for his work and currently process the licensing for image rights and merchandise.
As representatives of one of the most influential and prolific artists of the 20th century, the Foundation takes very seriously its responsibility to uphold and enhance the legacy of Andy Warhol. Warhol’s artwork, public life and, most importantly, his seamless fusion of the two, continue to inspire creative thinkers worldwide. The licensing program seeks out partnerships with those who understand the relevance of Warhol’s practice to contemporary visual and consumer culture and who create products that reflect his maverick approach to art making, his ability to present the familiar from unusual perspectives and his sophisticated sense of design. Revenues generated through licensing fees support an increasing number of the Foundation’s activities.
Hence, more people have become patrons or “consumers” of Warhol’s work via products created in partnership with Adidas, Levi’s, Paul Frank, Philip Treacy, Campbell’s Soup, and more. Most recently, the Foundation gave image rights to Asian apparel brand Uniqlo and some of Warhol’s most ubiquitous artworks ended up on some very wearable pieces of clothing.
Case in point: the Dollar Signs and Campbell Soup shirts. My friend and photographer Joseph Pascual loves soup and, like Warhol, I also love money. We both love art and fashion as well so I was elated when he told me that he went shopping during his last Hong Kong trip and scored us some Andy Warhol for Uniqlo garb!
The statement shirt that makes me feel like a public/found object/performance art installation whenever I wear it out and proves that pop art is, indeed, for everyone.
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