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Life Savers

In Andy Warhol's Ads series of 1985, the viewer is invited to 'extract' the advertisement from the imagery presented and, instead, treat it as a work of art. Here, Warhol revisits his work in commercial illustration from the early 1950s, appropriating iconic brands, logos and images as the foundation for the series. Warhol presented each image as a noticeable appropriation from a broad spectrum of contemporary culture, rendered in a vibrant palette that encapsulates the artist's Pop vision of twentieth-century modernity. Warhol's selection of images for the Ads series embodied some of the most powerful corporations in America at the time, such as Mobilgas, Paramount Pictures, Disney, and Apple Macintosh. While others, such as Volkswagen, Chanel, and Blackglama, represent some of the most ingenious marketing campaigns in advertising history.

Life Savers is appropriated from an original magazine advert from c. 1960 for the ring-shaped sweets that were introduced to the United States in 1912. The work echoes Warhol's 1962 aspiration for his artwork to be a 'statement of the symbols of the harsh, impersonal products and brash materialistic objects on which America is built today. It is a projection of everything that can be bought and sold, the practical but impermanent symbols that sustain us today'.

 

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