15 Folds, founded by fashion designer and artist Margot Bowman, director Sean Frank and digital media designer Jolyon Varley, is a platform that gives creatives across different disciplines the opportunity to showcase animated GIFs in response to an original theme. Why ‘15 Folds’? The name was inspired by the game Exquisite Corpse, in which players take turns writing on a sheet of paper, fold it to hide part of the writing and then pass it to the next player for a further contribution. Each month begins with a GIF, posted by the house on a given theme. From this point selected creatives take it in turns to post their own original gifs to the site in 48 hour intervals – each drawing reference only from the post before.
Their latest collaboration is with Absolut, to introduce the Andy Warhol Edition, a new limited edition bottle celebrating creativity, pop art and the brand’s iconic collaboration with Andy Warhol. Absolut has a longstanding commitment to art and originality so to launch the bottle Absolut has collaborated with 15 Folds to create ‘15 GIFs of Fame’, a series of digital artworks created by 15 outstanding creatives from the world of art, design, music and fashion. The ’15 GIFs of Fame’ artworks reflect the artists’ interpretation of the theme Fame, taking inspiration from all aspects of Andy Warhol’s life and career as an artist. Participants include:
Bobby Abley takes inspiration from his love for pop culture and the relentless pursuit of fame through instagram with a piece called ‘A million likes in 4 seconds’.
Fred Butler uses a quote by Dotson Radar who was a friend of Andy Warhol and quite candidly commented on the darker side of his infatuation with fame in relation to the stars he engineered from The Factory.
Lotte Anderson explores the fickle nature of fame with a piece entitled Flavour of the Month, summed up by the statement ‘the thing, a la mode, the craze, hip, trendy, all the rage, en vogue, happening, du jour.’
O Thongthai explores the theme of fame by fusing elements from her most recent jewellery collection with her unique illustrative style.
15 Folds creates a piece entitled Hoi-llywood, exploring our desire for icons, which is as old a time itself. Drag culture forces us to re-address and subvert our expectations about our icons. Andy Warhol captured this culture through his Polaroids of New York queens. Now 15 Folds are digitising this tradition with our generation’s medium – the GIF.
Margot Bowman’s piece entitled ‘Special’ is all about likening fame and those who have achieved it to the idea of show ponies, and critiquing its two-dimensional nature.
Sean Frank’s GIF entitled Finally Famou$, is inspired by the lengths people will go to for their 15 minutes. How far will you go to see your name in lights, and what is the price you ultimately pay?
Digi Fairy explore how content culture allows anyone and anyTHING to be famous for 15 seconds with a piece entitled #THEinterPET.
Gordon Magnin looks at the fleeting nature of fame; like a ray of sun reflecting from a passing car, a flash of light immediately vanishing, into anonymity and memory.
Ignasi Monreal explores the way in which people are consumed by the idea of fame and adapt to the pressures.
James Kerr imagined how a young, up-and-coming Andy Warhol might have hustled the self-promotion game, and almost immediately thought of Warhol standing on the side of the road, in a banana suit as a sign spinner. Often, the road to fame is wrought with a lot of hard work, courage and, at times, plenty of embarrassment.
Mehdi Lacoste’s GIF is an interpretation of people trying to grab a piece of fame, however short lived it is. The piece is entitled ‘It’s not your brain, it’s just the flame’.
Naomi Shimada looks at the phenomenon of reality TV stars and how they embody everything that the word FAME means today – lack of substance, obsession, money and a healthy dose of soul selling. She asks – ‘where are we heading and how do we change up the energy flow?’
Nimrod creates the ‘Warhol Band’, a GIF depicting four people in a band wearing animated Warhol faces before going on stage.
Tessa Edwards’ GIF entitled ’15 minutes of Privacy’ subverts Andy Warhol’s prophetic ’15 minutes of fame’, where actually we will all be famous all the time according to way culture presents the individual as a ‘brand’ or public profile via the internet. Since it is so difficult to escape our own public profiles, in the future perhaps we will only be granted 15 minutes of privacy instead.
The specially created artworks will be entered into The Andy Warhol Art Exchange by Absolut, the world’s largest online art exchange. At absolut.com/artexchange, Absolut provides fun and easy-to-use generative art tools, enabling anyone to be an artist, so people from around the world can unleash their creative spirits and submit their own original work. All participants will get an artwork in return from someone, somewhere in the world, with a chance to receive artworks from the 15 Folds artists. There will even be an original Andy Warhol artwork included in the exchange!
Absolut’s Andy Warhol Warhol Edition is available at Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, RRP £21.99. A percentage of the proceeds will contribute generously to The Andy Warhol Foundation’s endowment from which it distributes grants supporting contemporary art. The Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization recognized as among the leading funders of contemporary art. You might like to try the Absolut Bowman, one of three 15 Folds Cocktails created by Absolut Ambassador Rico Dynan:
50ml Absolut Citron
25ml Lemon Juice
20ml Agave Syrup
2 Drops Hot Pepper Sauce
20ml Mango Juice
20ml Egg White
Dry shake, wet shake, pour into glass and sip.
Words by Anna Bang
Tags15 Folds, Absolut, Andy Warhol, Bobby Abley, Digi Fairy, Dotson Radar, Gordon Magnin, Ignasi Monreal, James Kerr, Lotte Anderson, Margot Bowman, Mehdi Lacoste, Naomi Shimada, Nimrod, O Thongthai, Sean Frank, Tessa Edwards,