GENERAL IDEA "NAZI MILK GLASS", 1980

General Idea formed in 1969 in Toronto and over the next 30 some years, the trio made a remarkable and inimitable contribution to post-modern art. 

With their subversive approach and interest in parody and appropriation, General Idea addressed a broad range of social (and art-world) issues including consumerism, media consumption, the cult of the artist and AIDS.

One of their most iconic and confrontational works is Nazi Milk (1979), a paradigm of how General Idea unflinchingly explored taboo subjects.

The Nazi Milk image appears in several works in General Idea’s oeuvre, featuring Billy, a young blond man with a white shirt and depicted against an orange background. The idealized aryan boy raises a large glass of milk to his lips. He already has a Hitler-like milk mustache. He looks suggestively at the viewer exuding several conflicting messages. Can consumer products seduce the masses and convince them to consume political ideologies? 

This work was conceived as a cocktail holder, the 'Nazi Milk Glass' is connected to the larger General Idea project, ‘The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion’. It was sold at The Boutique, a kiosk which promotes a series of cocktails— each one a political metaphor.

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Canada, 1980

Drinking glass with offset adhesive label in plastic container with gold hot-stamping

Signed in marker on bottom of packaging 

6"H 4"W (Case) 

5.9"H 3.6"W (Glass)  

Self-published

Condition: Some very slight wear to top edge of plastic lid.

Additional images available by request.

Note: This work was intended to be an open edition. However according to "General Idea Editions 1967-1995" it was not realized and only approximately  is an 50 were actually produced. This example is signed ‘General Idea’ on bottom of the packaging in marker. See page 139 for the complete listing. 

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