Coca-Cola Retro Pop Art Calendar

Coca-Cola calendars go a long way back. The first one was produced in 1891, featuring an attractive young woman wearing a fashionable dress and holding a tennis raquet. Over the years, Coca-Cola would introduce hundreds of “Coca-Cola Girls”, holding the most different objects such as skis, ice skates, a pen, fan or umbrella and of course a glass or bottle of their favorite soda drink.

From the 1900’s, Coca-Cola also sometimes turned from pretty but anonymous girls to show biz stars. Lillian Norica, a Metropolitan Opera star, was featured on calendars starting in 1904. Another early favorite was legendary actress Hilda Clark.
By the 1920’s the Coca-Cola calendar girls were posing at activities, which included baseball games and various social events.
In the 1930’s, Coca-Cola took a somewhat higher road by calling upon leading artists of the time to contribute illustrations for their calendars. Norman Rockwell illustrated Huckleberry Finn in 1932 and used similar subjects for the company’s calendars during that decade. Other famous illustrators for Coca-Cola during the 1930’s included Frederic Stanley, N.C. Wyeth and Bradshaw Crandall.

In the 1940’s, Coke invented Sprite Boy, a funny character wearing a bottle cap on his head and the era of beautiful Coca-Cola ladies continued, together with other subjects like Santa theme, which prooved to be an instant success. Coke added “zest” to their advertising slogans in the 1950’s, and also made available the visually charming illustrations as “home calendars”.

The art on the calendars is so strong and compelling that it is often used on other Coca-Cola advertising. Coca-Cola calendars are both appealing and striking in design. “Calendars are certainly the most beautiful of all Coca-Cola collectibles,” says Coke historian, collector and writer Allen Petretti. “Because of the beautiful artwork and colors, and the rarity of many, Coke calendars have become the most important pieces in my collection.”

This Retro Pop Art Calendar designed by RockAndRoll Agency features “visual samples” from the iconic Coca-Cola calendars of the 1910s – ’50s. It’s a true tribute to the delightful Coca-Cola vintage illustrations, capturing the essence of having good, old fashioned fun.

Concept & Realization Coca-Cola Iconic Calendar: RockAndRoll Agency.
Project Team Coca-Cola: Muriel Soupart, Arnaud Tasiaux.
Special Thanks to the Coca-Cola Collections Development/Archives Dept, Atlanta.
Sources: Coca-Cola Conversations, Colector’s Blog http://www.coca-colaconversations.com/
Classic Coca-Cola Calendars by Allen Petretti.

Luca Molnar – Soulfood for the Mind

Over the past decennia, Coca-Cola fired the imagination of artists from Norman Rockwell to Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. Today, the “Coke Side of Life” universe is still inspiring a new generation of talent.
A few days back, we received these wonderful vector drawings by Luca Molnar.

Luca is a young and talented illustrator/image-maker from Miskolc, Hungary. Just turned 18, Luca works on numerous design projects and exhibits her self-initiated work on a regular basis, in Hungary and beyond. Working across disciplines with a passionate energy, Luca’s artworks are detailed and colorful renderings of a world of fantasy – true soulfood for the mind.
You can see more of her particular visual style on her website: http://www.lucamolnar.com

Andy Warhol – Supermarket of Styles

Today, more than 45 years have passed since Warhol started showing Campbell’s soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles. Over the course of all these years, more and more people have understood that Warhol’s art opened up an undiscovered territory as large as the world itself; that this territory includes not only stars and soup cans, humor and wit, but also mysteries.

His clients soon included The New Yorker, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Bergdorf Goodman and Tiffany & Co. Andy removed the final a from his name and became Warhol. Apart from the purchase of a hairpiece early in the ‘50s and a nose job in 1957, this was about the biggest change he made in himself, as he went from poverty in Pittsburgh to success in New York.

By 1952, he’d received his first medal from the Art Directors Club and had been given his first solo exhibition, at the Hugo Gallery. Warhol exhibited drawings based on the writings of Truman Capote. By 1956, he was participating with a series of drawings of “personality shoes” in a group exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art: Recent Drawings USA.
That same year he also had two solo shows at the Bodley Gallery and went on a round-the-world tour. In 1957, he incorporated himself as Andy Warhol Enterprises to help manage his commercial work.

All this time, Warhol had continued to paint; he also kept abreast of the avant-garde. We know he was aware of Jasper Johns’s work and also of Robert Rauschenberg’s art. In defiance of the prestige then enjoyed by abstract painting, both of those artists incorporated immediately recognizable, images into their works. Jasper Johns painted the American flag, while Rauschenberg inserted objects such as Coca-Cola bottles and photographs of President Eisenhower into his paintings. To Warhol, it was a matter of no small interest that the avant-garde could come so close to his own world of commercial art.

In 1960, Warhol took up the dare and made his first paintings based on comic-strip characters. He exhibited them the following year, not in an art gallery, but in the window of Bonwit-Teller, as the background for a mannequin display. Then he visited the Leo Castelli Gallery and discovered, to his surprise, that Roy Lichtenstein was also making paintings based on comic strips. Apparently, Warhol was on to something. But if Lichtenstein had staked out the comics as a subject for art galleries, then Warhol would have to find something else.
What he found, beginning in 1962, was nothing less than the entire American scene. Whereas other artists like Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Tom Wesselmann where also working with Pop Art imagery in the early 1960s, Warhol quickly emerged as a leader, painting grass-roots brand names like Campbell’s, Mott’s, Kellog’s, Del Monte, Coca-Cola; American money, postage stamps, and bonus gift stamps, tabloids and his childhood comic idols Superman, Dick Tracy, Nancy and Popeye. He also portraited the most popular stars from James Dean, Elvis Presley and Elizabeth Taylor to Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe.

But this was only the beginning of his art and vision. Warhol’s art is a visual anthology of consumer brands, headlines, personalities, mythic creatures, tragedies and even a tribute to his favorite artworks. Some of his first Pop pictures were made by hand, and to a knowing eye they gave evidence of great skill – for example the images of Campbell’s soup cans with peeling labels, which are marvels of illusionistic brushwork. But soon Warhol adopted the methods of mass production to make images of brands and celebrities who were themselves mass produced.