80.3 F
Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 2, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesShow Mixes Liquor and Art in Absolut Style

Show Mixes Liquor and Art in Absolut Style

Nov. 14, 2008 — Some 23 years ago, the late Pop artist Andy Warhol was inspired by the distinctive shape, clean lines and clear glass of Sweden's Absolut Vodka bottle. Warhol picked up his paintbrush and rendered the bottle black, with touches of bright colors, offset by a dreamy yellow background. His painting triggered a marketing bonanza for Absolut, which, over two decades, has aligned itself with more than 500 artists worldwide — from painters to fashion designers, to furniture designers to musicians, and now including St. Thomas's W.B. Thompson.
Thompson was one of 11 Caribbean and South American artists commissioned to paint a section of a 10-foot flattened version of the Absolut Vodka bottle, unveiled Friday at a show called "Absolut Connections" at Yacht Haven Grande's Mango Tango Art Gallery. This is the bottle's ninth stop on a Caribbean tour.
"The last stop will be the Bahamas, and then it will go to the Absolut art collection in Sweden," explained Mango Tango owner, Jane Coombes.
Each of the artists was assigned a section of the bottle, and their works were assembled into a montage.
"We weren't told what to do at all," explained Thompson, whose soft smile and gentle demeanor belie his bold and colorful artistic style, which he described as expressionistic. "We were assigned a space, and the goal was to try and do something that embodied the product and the (geographic) area you were representing."
A self-described teetotaler, Thompson acknowledged he was a little challenged when it came to truly understanding the Absolut "product," but he soldiered on.
"I know Absolut prides itself on the purity of its product…so I tried to do something…of purity."
Thompson's piece of the puzzle departed from his usual style in favor of something basic and "pure" – black and white with touches of color capture the essence of the Virgin Islands. His lower left-hand section of the bottle depicts a reclining woman, cast in simple lines, staring at the ocean, her back cradled by colored lines.
Thompson said he felt honored to be part of the Absolut artist collection, and chuckled when asked what his commission was.
"I don't believe we got paid what Andy Warhol got paid, but that doesn't matter," he said, smiling. "It's not about the money."
Standing somewhat solemn at a distance from the bottle, Dennis Kinney, one of dozens who gathered for the unveiling, declared, "I think it's actually beautiful. I love the collaboration of all the artists from all the countries."
Laura Taylor, another bottle watcher, was also struck by the collaboration, which ranged from a montage of straws to a section that featured marbles.
"I think it definitely works," she said. "Nothing is the same, but it all works when you put it together."
The contributing artists, aside from Thompson, came from Argentina, the Bahamas, Barbados, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.
Sponsoring the show was Premier Wines and Spirits, the territory's Absolut distributor.
Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,756FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Nov. 14, 2008 -- Some 23 years ago, the late Pop artist Andy Warhol was inspired by the distinctive shape, clean lines and clear glass of Sweden's Absolut Vodka bottle. Warhol picked up his paintbrush and rendered the bottle black, with touches of bright colors, offset by a dreamy yellow background. His painting triggered a marketing bonanza for Absolut, which, over two decades, has aligned itself with more than 500 artists worldwide -- from painters to fashion designers, to furniture designers to musicians, and now including St. Thomas's W.B. Thompson.
Thompson was one of 11 Caribbean and South American artists commissioned to paint a section of a 10-foot flattened version of the Absolut Vodka bottle, unveiled Friday at a show called "Absolut Connections" at Yacht Haven Grande's Mango Tango Art Gallery. This is the bottle's ninth stop on a Caribbean tour.
"The last stop will be the Bahamas, and then it will go to the Absolut art collection in Sweden," explained Mango Tango owner, Jane Coombes.
Each of the artists was assigned a section of the bottle, and their works were assembled into a montage.
"We weren't told what to do at all," explained Thompson, whose soft smile and gentle demeanor belie his bold and colorful artistic style, which he described as expressionistic. "We were assigned a space, and the goal was to try and do something that embodied the product and the (geographic) area you were representing."
A self-described teetotaler, Thompson acknowledged he was a little challenged when it came to truly understanding the Absolut "product," but he soldiered on.
"I know Absolut prides itself on the purity of its product…so I tried to do something…of purity."
Thompson's piece of the puzzle departed from his usual style in favor of something basic and "pure" – black and white with touches of color capture the essence of the Virgin Islands. His lower left-hand section of the bottle depicts a reclining woman, cast in simple lines, staring at the ocean, her back cradled by colored lines.
Thompson said he felt honored to be part of the Absolut artist collection, and chuckled when asked what his commission was.
"I don't believe we got paid what Andy Warhol got paid, but that doesn't matter," he said, smiling. "It's not about the money."
Standing somewhat solemn at a distance from the bottle, Dennis Kinney, one of dozens who gathered for the unveiling, declared, "I think it's actually beautiful. I love the collaboration of all the artists from all the countries."
Laura Taylor, another bottle watcher, was also struck by the collaboration, which ranged from a montage of straws to a section that featured marbles.
"I think it definitely works," she said. "Nothing is the same, but it all works when you put it together."
The contributing artists, aside from Thompson, came from Argentina, the Bahamas, Barbados, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.
Sponsoring the show was Premier Wines and Spirits, the territory's Absolut distributor.
Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.