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Absolute Vodka’s art competition lifts the veil on Black creative talent

The Swedish company Absolut Vodka has built a strong reputation for innovation both with their product and their eye-catching branding.

The company’s involvement in the contemporary art world dates back to 1985 when they collaborated with the leading pop artist Andy Warhol to create the groundbreaking Absolut Warhol ad. The campaign triggered many more collaborations with other artists, from the established ones such as Keith Haring to the lesser-known for whom the commission became a career-defining moment.

Now, 33 years after their first foray into the contemporary art world, Absolut Vodka is setting the stage for a career defining moment for a young artist with a worldwide open entry competition, €20 000 cash prize, and global exposure.

To win the 2 rounds competition, the participant will have to create an artwork that is centered on the silhouette of the Absolute Vodka bottle, and inspired by the values of the brand.

The competition has turned the spotlight on the talent of Black artists as they shared their artwork on Instagram. We enjoyed being a pretend jury and picked our favorite 10 artworks. 



Nicholas Anglin is a Jamaica-born, New York-based Art Director and Designer. His design immerses is a nod to the pop art roots of this initiative.


Phulusho Ngomane

Phuluso IG post Absolut competition

The South African visual artist positioned the bottle in the eye of a colorful and striking storm.



Thando Mkhasibe

Thando Mkhasibe IG post Absolut competition

In a multicultural twist, this South African artist has given the Swedish bottle a Ndebele treatment.


Sonwabo Valashiya

Sonwanbo IG post Absolut competition

The graphic designer, who is already amongst Design Indaba’s 2018 emerging creative, has re-imagined the Vodka bottle as the lost paradise, a new green Eden.


Kouekam Guy

Kouekam IG post Absolut competition

Using a reduced palette of black, white and yellow, Kouekam Guy has turned the bottle into a symbol for the fight for freedom.


Sonny Nkumeleni

Nkumeleni IG post Absolut competition

Taking a cue from the popular expression of letting the genie out of the bottle, the illustrator has imagined a beautiful goddess emerging from the vodka bottle.


Rofhiwa Mudau

Rofhiwa IG post Absolut competition

Taking things to next level, the illustrator Rofhiwa has drawn miniature bottles that gravitate in the air.


Katt Phatt

Katt Phatt IG post Absolut competition

The digital artist’s neon artwork pays homage to the LGBT movement.




You will never go thirsty anymore with the graphic designer’s imagined bottomless bottle that lets its blue content flow undisturbed.


Trevor Stuurman

Stuurman Absolut Competition

At just 26 years old, Trevor Stuurman has emerged as one of the leading visual artists in South Africa. We are not sure if his design is part of the competition, but still, it gets a vote from us.

The ultimate choice will undoubtedly boost the career of the lucky winner, whoever that may be. Besides the €20,000 cash prize, their work will be introduced to influential people in the art world and to an international audience.

If you are an artist, don’t forget to submit your work before the competition closes on January 31st. Good luck.

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