GEORGIA artist’s work takes center stage at NEW WORLD OF COCA-COLA
ATLANTA.- The Coca-Cola Company will celebrate the artistic contributions of famed Georgia portrait artist, Steve Penley, by presenting an exhibition of his work at the New World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta this year. On loan from public and private collectors, the exhibit will feature Penley’s most significant Coca-Cola inspired pieces, including several new paintings created for the attraction. The exhibit opens to the public today.
Best known for his iconic portraits, Penley is one of America’s most popular southern artists. His signature painting style incorporates bold color, strong brush strokes and vivid imagery. His work has been commissioned by prominent corporate and private collectors around the nation, including The Coca-Cola Company. Penley was selected as the official artist of the G-8 Summit on Georgia’s Sea Island in 2004. He also received an official commendation from the Georgia State Senate in 2005.
The Penley collection follows the year-long exhibition of Andy Warhol paintings on loan from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and will be the first time a collection of Penley’s Coca-Cola themed work of this scale will be presented to the public.
“Like Warhol, Penley finds inspiration in everyday iconic images that are familiar and accessible to everyone,” said Ted Ryan, The Coca-Cola Company, Archives Collection Manager. “His work reflects a sense of optimism and positivity that makes Coca-Cola an ideal muse for his art.”
“Coke Bottle,” one of the most significant paintings in the collection, is Penley’s first piece featuring Coca-Cola iconography. The 4-by-6 ft Coca-Cola contour bottle painting was created by Penley in 1996 and has been loaned to The Coca-Cola Company by King and Spalding for exhibition as part of the new collection. Other featured pieces include: Final Four (2006); International Bottle (2006); Diet Coke Bottle (2006); Couple at Fountain (2007); Fountain Service (2007); Hot Dog and Bottle (2007); Kit Carson (2007); Coke Zero (2008); Three Bottles (2008); Fountain Glass (2008).
On display through May 2009, the Penley collection will feature more than 15 pieces, including video footage of the artist at work in his studio, more than 12 paintings and a charcoal Coca-Cola icon bottle line drawing sketched by his 6-year old son. The collection will be accompanied by tags handwritten by Penley featuring the back-story behind each piece. Guests of the attraction will also have the opportunity to explore the personal effects from Penley’s studio.
Located at Pemberton Place next door to the Georgia Aquarium in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the New World of Coca-Cola has been redesigned from the ground up. It features a tasting lounge, three theaters (including one in 4D), a fully-functioning bottling line and nearly 1,000 artifacts and collectibles that have never been displayed to the public. The updated attraction opened on May 24, 2007. Tickets are available online at www.worldofcoca-cola.com.
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