Bonhams Highlights the Influence of Pop Art on Culture and Luxury
Pop Art and culture have intertwined for a few decades now. Starting in the 1950s, artists have used popular culture to influence political perceptions and make art more accessible to everyone. The history of Pop Art can be traced back to the beginning of Dadaism. Both Pop Art and Dadaism came into the picture to counter the personalized symbolism often reflected in the works of the Abstract Impressionists. However, what distinguished Pop Art from the more destructive Dadaism was its representative nature and a demonstration of mass culture that borrowed images, ideas, and subjects from advertising, packaging, comic books, and everyday objects. Campbell’s Soup Can by Andy Warhol is an iconic example.
Pop Art also focused on the mass production of goods taking over America during the mid to late 1950s. Andy Warhol’s artwork featuring 32 repetitive Campbell’s Soup can images put an iconic brand on display. Since then, luxury brands have historically banked on the use of pop culture to form a connection with a larger audience.
Another example of Andy Warhol and his association with popular culture is a Mick Jagger portrait from the 1975 Mick Jagger Portfolio. This color screenprint shows the English singer with different patterns and shards of color weaved together. The upcoming Bonhams Pop x Culture sale will offer an edition of this portrait. It is estimated to sell for GBP 25,000 to £35,000 (USD 34,000 – $48,000).
From Louis Vuitton to Coca-Cola, the connection between luxury and pop culture enjoys a significant following. The upcoming Bonhams event features an eclectic mix of collaborations between pop culture artists and luxury brands. One of the most sought-after and disruptive collaborations of the last decade came from Louis Vuitton and Supreme. The 2017 collection drew inspiration from the works of New York artists like Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Andy Warhol.
A limited edition red and white monogram Malle Courrier 90 trunk from Louis Vuitton and Supreme is a notable lot in the upcoming Bonhams event. Estimated at GBP 60,000 to £80,000 (USD 82,000 – $110,000), the canvas printed trunk is covered in red and white Louis Vuitton monograms with a leather Supreme logo at the front.
Louis Vuitton, a brand known for its close-knit and highly aspirational brand image, took to pop culture to increase its relevance among the younger generation. The DouDou teddy is a limited-edition teddy bear created by Marc Jacobs and first launched on the runway in 2005 during the LV Men’s Spring/Summer Collection. The company’s current creative director, Virgil Abloh, reintroduced it for a 2020 show in Japan. A teddy bear from the design’s reboot is now available for sale in this auction. It has a presale estimate of GBP 6,000 to £8,000 (USD 8,200 – $11,000).
Several of Banksy’s works will also showcase in the Bonhams event. If there is one name in the modern art scene that is synonymous with “popular,” it is Banksy’s. Available pieces include the artist’s most talked-about works from 2004, Girl with Balloon and Barcode Leopard. Banksy redefined new-age Pop Art by infusing political and social messages that sparked conversations and controversies alike.
This is not the first time Bonhams has offered collectible pieces of Pop Art to the public. In a 2019 event of Modern and Contemporary Art, the auction house sold a set of 131 full-sized Supreme skateboard decks for GBP 125,062 (USD 172,420).
The November event will also highlight some big names in the Pop Art scene like Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Allan Jones. A leather collar worn on stage by Nicki Minaj at the 2017 Billboard Awards is also available for sale. The auction begins at 12:00 PM EST on November 11th, 2021. Interested collectors can visit Bonhams to view the full auction catalog or to place a bid. Find information on upcoming auctions and the latest art industry news on Auction Daily.