Shamash meets Andy Warhol - Green Coca Cola Bottles (1962)


This painting is entitled Green Coca Cola Bottles (1962) which was created by an American painter, Andy Warhol in 1962. Andy Warhol is a world-renowned painter from the United States, who pioneered the flow of Pop Art. Warhol is a world maestro, the flow of Pop Art or popular art raises works of art in the form of objects that are popular and commonplace in people's lives. Like Warhol's magnum opus, Campbell's Soup Can (1962).

At that time the condition of the world was being hit by the Cold War, competition with the Soviet Union and its blocs was not only about economics, military, science, or technology, there was also cultural competition. Culturally, the United States lagged behind the Soviet Union at first, naturally because the age of the Russian Nation was older than the United States and it was a civilization older than the United States which only emerged in 1776. The Soviet Union may be proud of the maestro it has. such as Maxim Gorky, Tchaikovsky, Anton Chekov, etc. However, with the emergence of Andy Warhol, the United States began to be confident in competing in the cultural field with the Soviet Union. The United States knows itself, in the field of high art, the United States is lagging behind the Soviet Union and its blocs, even with some of its own allies such as Britain, France, Italy, which have historical reputations for their artwork since the Renaissance. So then the United States focused more on developing pop culture and exporting it to various parts of the world. It is proven that this cultural export is very successful, even various goods made in the United States have now become global brands, such as Coca Cola, Marlboro, Pepsi, MCD, KFC, and so on. The world community was initially educated on these products, even interested in trying them because they saw them in American films and also in works of art which indirectly became a powerful means of advertising American products. Not surprisingly, during the time of President Jimmy Carter, Warhol's hard work was recognized by his own people.  This was proven by President Jimmy Carter inviting Andy Warhol to the White House.

The Coca Cola painting by Warhol cannot be interpreted simply. However, it has a deep interpretation, coca cola is considered a symbol of the cultural hegemony of the United States and also the globalization of the world which was pioneered by the United States. Ordinary people also know that coca cola is a soft drink that is popular in the world and has become the daily consumption of various people in various parts of the world. This makes drinking coca cola not like drinking ordinary water, but there is a culture there. When someone drinks coca cola, he feels he gets a certain image, for example the drinker feels he is modern or he is part of the urban community. Of course, all these images form a phenomenon called consumerism, when someone buys a product he buys not only because he feels the need, but also buys the image produced by the product.

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