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Christ to Coke: How Image Becomes Icon




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Christ to Coke is the first book to look at all the main types of visual icons. It does so via eleven supreme and mega-famous examples, both historical and contemporary, to see how they arose and how they continue to function.

Author: Martin Kemp

2.5cm x 19.1cm x 26cm

392 pages

Published by Oxford University Press

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Image, branding and logos are obssesions of our age. Iconic images dominates the media and yet, we encounter weird and wonderful ways that they become transformed in an astonishing variety of ways and contexts. How, for example, has the communist revolutionary Che become a romantic hero for middle-class teenagers? 

The stock image of Christ's face is the founding icon - literally, since he was the central subject of early icon painting. Some of the icons that follow are general, like the cross, the lion, and the heart-shape. Some are specific, such as the Mona Lisa, Che Guevara, and the famous photograph of the napalmed girl in Vietnam. The American flag, the "Stars and Stripes", does not quite fit into either category. Modern icons come from commerce, led by the Coca-Cola bottle, and from science, most notably the double helix of DNA and Einstein's famous equation E=mc2. 

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