Andy Warhol Silver Factory
Post #1082 • November 7, 2007, 10:26 AM • 43 Comments
Artblog.net gets hit up to review all kinds of things, lending credence to the observation that media outlets are disappearing. I decline most of them, but one caught my eye - a perfume produced by Bond No. 9 based on Andy Warhol, with the blessing of the Andy Warhol Foundation, christened Andy Warhol's Silver Factory.
I'm constitutionally impervious to developments in fashion, but fortunately there's a female person in the house. A sample and accompanying press materials arrived chez Artblog.net and we sniffed them over. Supergirl was impressed. Perfumes normally give her a headache, but ten minutes after application she was fine. "It alternates between sweet, woodsy, and powdery," she said. "Right from the bottle, bergamot and grapefruit predominate. On the skin the amber and the cedarwood come out, and then the lingering scent alternates between a foresty incense and sweet resin, not as sweet as vanilla, but something in that neighborhood. It reminds me a bit of the Cacharel Lou Lou I used to wear. My head doesn't hurt, so the ingredients must be the best quality. Can you get more?"
Andy Warhol Silver Factory is supposed to be androgynous enough for male use, but its application to my person didn't get a good review. "No, it's a little too sugary and girly," said Supergirl as she whiffed my nape. "Maybe for a gay man like Warhol, it would work."
"I can't say that I'm wild about the bottle, but I guess that's your department." Indeed. The bottle is consistent with the rest of the Bond line, although made metallic, it looks a bit like a dressing mannequin for a robot in the Jetsons. The typography and color scheme derive from a Warholian treatment of the Campbell's Soup can recolored in spearmint blue, butterscotch, and plum. (I suppose the original Campbell's palette would have evoked pureed tomatoes.) Some of the descriptors of the product went over the top in a manner I wish was available to the art critic. "Elusive, metallic iris, smelling the way silver might smell." That's great copy, redolent of heartland blondes in the passionate throes of Poetry 101. And check this (punctuation sic):
This bottle is also an example of meta-design: the co-opting of Warhol's artistic rendering of a world-famous soup can, and its recycling for yet another consumer product. OK, so it's a luxury product, (but once again it has liquid inside!) What's more, taking a cue from the Campbell's label, which proclaims its soups as Condensed, we'll be offering our Warhol fragrances as innovative 28 percent perfume concentrates - in between eau de parfum and and perfume extract. (Thank you, Campbell's, for the hint.)
This is in no way inferior to any brief review in Flash Art.
It's no shame to cash in on the Warhol mystique. Hell, he did it himself. The press release quotes Michael Hermann, director of licensing at the foundation, saying, "Working with Bond No. 9 represents a unique, unexpected, and exciting opportunity to introduce Warhol to an ever-widening audience." Probably no artist's audience wants less for widening, but no matter. There's a whole Louis Vuitton boutique installed next to the Murakami show at the LA MoCA and I'll bet nothing in it smells this good. I look forward to future artists getting the Bond No. 9 treatment. Francis Bacon, for instance.