An Impact by Kapoor
Anish Kapoor is a master of form. Throughout his decorated career, he has used sculpture to lead audiences to use his forms as lenses in which they can view the world in a new way. With his mirrored installations such as Chicago’s Cloud Gate or the traveling Sky Mirror, he forces people to rethink a sight they see every day through his own artful distortion.
After viewing the Chicago skyline bend into a new artificial horizon, one steps away to look at the original with new appreciation.
Repetition causes the mind to become blind to the very objects that define their surroundings. It is through transformation of these objects or ideas that people light up with the excitement of something new, causing them to remember the original through comparison and to rethink the possibilities of the banal. The presence of this duality is strongly displayed in the Kapoor’s newest piece, a sculptural bottle- form, commissioned by Absolut.
The sculpture displays two variations of the iconic bottle shape, reimagined through color, texture, and orientation. The familiar Absolut bottle is protean shape that has graced the back of countless magazines camouflaged in seemingly endless ways. However, removed of the punch line, Kapoor’s concave envisioning of the shape creates a feeling of the bottle’s absence. The void allows the mind to overlay the all caps blue lettering of ’ABSOLUT VODKA’ where they aren’t.
Kapoor’s use of minimalism to make a bold statement mirrors the original design intentions of the bottle itself. When Absolut first released its bottle, it was derided for being difficult to see on the bar due to its clear label, and its stout stature. Yet, not only did Absolut stand by their bottle, they went so far to make it the centerpiece of the brand. Their belief was that its simplicity is what allows it to stand out and be remembered.
Over the nearly thirty five years since the bottle was first unveiled, it has become ubiquitous. Once celebrated for its uniqueness – it is now highly imitated. Through the Kapoor commission, the bottle can be seen in a new perspective, recast as the memorable form it has always been.