2007_07_arts_warholbrillo.jpgPrint Magazine has an article on the man behind the Brillo boxes Andy Warhol took out of the retail world and put in to the art world. As it turns out artist James Harvey created the design you see to the right, and when he walked in to Warhol's exhibit at the Stable Gallery on April 21st, 1964 - he saw it being displayed as art.

Harvey had designed the Brillo boxes when the company needed a package redesign three years prior. The abstract expressionist painter separated his commercial art work from his real art, where Warhol integrated the two. Warhol was also a commercial artist at the time, and was much sought-after in New York...by 1959 he was making an $100K a year from it!

Warhol famously recognized these consumer objects as the most elemental creations of our society. By refusing to separate fine art and commerce, Warhol, who had also been a commercial artist during the ’50s, turned Harvey’s Brillo box into Brillo Box. In the book After the End of Art, the philosopher and art critic Arthur Danto asks, “What distinguishes Warhol’s Brillo Box from the Brillo boxes in which Brillo comes?”

While Harvey laughed it off, the Graham Gallery (who represented his work) sent out a press release stating “It is galling enough for Jim Harvey, an abstract expressionist, to see that a pop artist is running away with the ball, but when the ball happens to be a box designed by Jim Harvey, and Andy Warhol gets the credit for it...What’s one man’s box, may be another man’s art.” That day at the gallery Warhol was selling the autographed Brillo Boxes for $300, a serigraph of one is on eBay right now for $1600. After the jump is a video of him being interviewed about the pop art scene, while surrounded by the boxes...