Resene masters the art of test pottery

Andy Warhol’s iconic image of Marilyn Monroe, one of the most influential pieces of modern art ever, can now be seen at Queen Elizabeth II Square in downtown Auckland. As part of Art Week, 3,944 Resene test pots in four specially chosen colours – Princess, Smitten, Shooting Star and All Black (actual Resene paint names)—were commandeered to create a 4x4m mosaic. 

“Resene was the first to bring testpots to New Zealand back in 1981,” says Resene marketing manager Karen Warman. “These days they’re used for much more than just testing paint colours though, with many people using them to create art for example. Which made us think, why not turn things around and use the testpots as actual art?”

The portrait took three weeks to make, with a design team that started with a small version of the image and then worked out how to pixelate the image on a much larger scale.

Each test pot was then painted and glued to the canvas, and where that didn’t work they were screwed on. 

The portrait was made in eight separate sections that were then assembled onsite and attached to two shipping containers for support.

It’s on show until 4 November. 

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