In 2008, Coca-Cola Company celebrates the artistic contributions of famed Georgia artist, Steve Penley, by presenting an exhibition of his work at the New World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. On loan from public and private collectors, the exhibit features Penley’s most significant Coca-Cola inspired pieces, including several new paintings created for the attraction.
The Penley collection follows the year-long exhibition of Andy Warhol paintings on loan from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and will be the first time a collection of Penley’s Coca-Cola themed work of this scale will be presented to the public.
Best known for his iconic portraits, Steve Penley is one of America’s most popular southern artists. His signature painting style incorporates bold color, strong brush strokes and vivid imagery.
“Like Warhol, Penley finds inspiration in everyday iconic images that are familiar and accessible to everyone,” said Ted Ryan, The Coca-Cola Company, Archives Collection Manager. “His work reflects a sense of optimism and positivity that makes Coca-Cola an ideal muse for his art.”
The collection is accompanied by tags handwritten by Penley featuring the back-story behind each piece.
“I love to paint historical subjects, and Coke is such a part of history that it naturally fits into my genre”.
“The colors of Coke are so well know that it is fun to experiment with new colors and see these familiar images in a new way”.
“I love to dig in to the rich dark color of the Coke in the traditional bell shaped glass. The light sparkles and shines with the reflections of the ice”.
“The Coke bottles lines and curves are fun to explore and throw color on. The bottle is a piece of art itself so it is an easy subject”.
On display through May 2009, the Penley collection at The World of Coca-Cola features more than 15 pieces, including video footage of the artist at work in his studio.
You can find more info on the blog of Phil Mooney, historian/archivist for The Coca-Cola Company for the last 30 years: http://www.coca-colaconversations.com/my_weblog/2008/05/our-new-steve-p.html
Other useful links:
The World of Coca-Cola http://www.woccatlanta.com
Steve Penley’s website http://www.stevepenley.com
Special thanks to The Coca-Cola Archives Dept.