Wednesday, July 08, 2015

LA story

So we’re having coffee in Starbucks (it happens) and the guy next to us sees we have copy of  Erling Kagge’s book A poor collector’s guide to buying great art and asks if he can tell us a story. OK. “I used to work in advertising, for Young & Rubicam”, he tells us. “We had the Life Saver Corporation account (true enough, that’s what it was called, we checked), and I was asked to come up with a campaign for them. I decided to do a lithograph of a Life Saver pack with a smart tag line, and that’s what I did. A few days later I get a knock on the door - this is in 1956 or maybe 1957 - and it’s a guy called Andy Warhol who I’d seen around in the ad business. He tells me he’s heard of the campaign and could he see the litho. So I say ok, but ask him to keep it to himself you know ‘cause we aren’t showing it to the client for a couple of weeks. Then, years later, I see the same ad as a Warhol print and it’s selling for tens of thousands of dollars. Art and advertising, what can you say?”
Image: Andy Warhol print from the portfolio Ads 1985