Online Exclusives

When Soap Becomes Art

September 30, 2008

Iconic brands move from the soap dish to the art world.

When Soap Becomes Art

Iconic brands move from the soap dish to the art world.

By Christine Esposito
Associate Editor

Nothing says you’ve made it like being presented with a bust of yourself—especially one made of Ivory soap.

That’s just what VH1’s Alison Becker was given when she came to Cincinnati in early September to shoot an episode of VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown. The VH1 production team shot an array of Cincinnati landmarks, including one in which Ms. Becker—and her Ivory soap likeness—are on the deck of City View Tavern with the world headquarters of P&G in the background.

Alison Becker was beside herself during her visit to P&G.
Carved by Robert Kling, a former master sculptor for Hasbro, the Ivory masterpiece weighed 40 pounds and took 15 hours to perfect. Jessica Hansman, brand manager, and Gabriel Hankin, assistant brand manager for Ivory soap, were on hand to present it to Ms. Becker.

Created in 1879 by James N. Gamble, Ivory soap—touted as 99.99% pure—has been a family favorite ever since. Yet the venerable P&G product isn’t the only bar making waves outside the washroom. Another soap has art aficionados in a lather in New York City.

On display at the Reeves Contemporary gallery is Ambrosia, an art installation that uses 20,000 Neutrogena facial cleansing bars. Artist Danielle Julian-Norton used the well recognized amber bar soaps to create 7-foot high walls that run 40 feet long and 12 feet wide in a wave-like shape. Not only do viewers see how a simple object can create a beautiful and unique environment, but the soap’s scent and translucency are said to add to the experience.

Danielle Julian-Norton created a striking sculpture with Neutrogena's Amber Bar.
"We are excited to support and help bring to fruition this unique display of art. The Neutrogena Amber Bar has always been an iconic symbol, and we are overwhelmed to see how this installation has captured an entire sensory experience," said Stefano Curti, general manager of Neutrogena.

"It is the clean identity, amber color, fresh scent, bodily reference, striking surface and translucent aesthetic that inspired me to create Ambrosia," Ms. Norton said in a statement. "Without the support of Neutrogena I would not have been able to create such a large scale installation with these exceptional properties."

To further support Ambrosia, Neutrogena is making a donation to the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation in honor of each guest who visits the installation for the duration of the exhibition, which runs until Oct. 4.

Related End-User Markets:

Related Raw Materials:

  • New Faces in Familiar Places

    New Faces in Familiar Places

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    The American Cleaning Institute officially welcomed its new president.

  • Special Delivery

    Special Delivery

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    UV protection is important, but what good is that sunscreen if consumers won’t apply it?

  • The Green Dot

    The Green Dot

    John Kim and Lambros Kromidas, PhD*, Shiseido Americas||March 1, 2017
    Insights into one of the most used trademarks in the world.

  • What’s Up with Brexit?

    What’s Up with Brexit?

    March 9, 2017
    During In-Cosmetics, industry experts from the CTPA will weigh in on what’s ahead for the beauty industry.

  • How We Clean

    How We Clean

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 6, 2017
    Consumers describe what makes them tick and what ticks them off about household cleaning products.

  • Discourse on Disclosure

    Discourse on Disclosure

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 6, 2017
    Transparency impacts the cleaning industry.

  • The Top Stories of 2016

    The Top Stories of 2016

    December 26, 2016
    The companies and topics that grabbed headlines and your attention this year.

  • Positive Influence

    Positive Influence

    December 19, 2016
    Co-founder Elizabeth Scherle talks about her growing consumer review platform, top beauty products and more.

  • Olivia Care Pays It Forward

    Olivia Care Pays It Forward

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 12, 2016
    Seeking post-election unity, a small natural personal care company hopes to cause a big wave of giving.

  • Patent Activity: Colgate-Palmolive

    Patent Activity: Colgate-Palmolive

    December 6, 2016
    New oral care compositions, the use of radish root ferment filtrate in a cleanser and more.

  • Organic Matter

    Organic Matter

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 14, 2016
    FTC and USDA hold a public roundtable to discuss consumers’ perception of organic claims.

  • Hair for Me!

    Hair for Me!

    October 31, 2016
    Function of Beauty fulfills the promise of personalization in the beauty space—one bottle at a time.

  • Coming Clean on a Host of Issues

    Coming Clean on a Host of Issues

    October 17, 2016
    Cleaning Products Conference is set for Nov. 9-11, 2016 in Washington DC.

  • Let the Magic Begin!

    Let the Magic Begin!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 10, 2016
    IFSCC Congress gets underway at Walt Disney World this month.

  • Ogee Opens for Business

    Ogee Opens for Business

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 10, 2016
    Banking on the power of jojoba oil, a Vermont-based start-up is the newest player in organic luxury skin care.

  • A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    Julia Comas, Cristina Davi, Elena Canadas, Laia Gonzalez, Raquel Delgado, Lipotec SAU||October 3, 2016
    Lipotec’s Pollushield creates a barrier between skin and pollutants and boosts the antioxidative potential of skin.

  • Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    September 26, 2016
    Organizing Chair Guy Padulo explains why you should attend the IFSCC Congress.

  • Active Agents

    Active Agents

    September 19, 2016
    On the surface, surfactants may seem staid, but the market, and the supplier activity driving it, is bubbling.

  • Fro Yo!

    Fro Yo!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 22, 2016
    Project Beauty dishes out Hairgurt, a line of vitamin-rich hair shampoos and conditioning masques.

  • And Now for Something Completely Different…

    And Now for Something Completely Different…

    August 15, 2016
    Phlur is out to make you rethink fragrance packaging.

  • Individualism IS The American Way

    Individualism IS The American Way

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 15, 2016
    Why blue hair and BB creams still thrill US consumers.

  • Red, Black & Blue

    Red, Black & Blue

    August 8, 2016
    No matter who wins the US Presidential election, Americans expect their finances to get bloodied and bruised in 2017.

  • Athletes, Not Objects

    Athletes, Not Objects

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||August 1, 2016
    Dove Unveils My Beauty billboard in Times Square.

  • Senior Skin Care

    Senior Skin Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 19, 2016
    McCord Research and Product Quest Manufacturing roll out new hospital-grade skin care kits for seniors to use at home.

  • Enter Éclair

    Enter Éclair

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 5, 2016
    A new naturals line rolls out in Rite Aid stores nationwide.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    June 30, 2016
    J&J's anti-aging patent, LVMH and cannabis essential oil, transdermal botulinum toxins and more in recent patent news.

  • What

    What's Next for the UK?

    Sarah Boumphrey, Euromonitor International||June 27, 2016
    Euromonitor weighs in on how Brexit could impact consumer product companies.

  • The Future of Innovation

    The Future of Innovation

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||June 27, 2016
    Fashion Institute of Technology graduate students tackle a far-reaching topic for their Capstone project.