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August 6, 2008
There are over 3,000 brands of bottled water worldwide, 180 in the United States. In 2006, the global bottled water industry reached $50 billion.
In a thought-provoking photo-essay in Lens Culture, Frank Yamrus shows us 25 "luxury" plastic bottle designs, and provides an amazing compilation of facts about our modern-day obsession with these cool, convenient, sexy status symbols.
Stripped of their brand labels, these plastic bottles look like crystal sculptures, show-off trophies, or expensive gems in a jewel case. Their designs mimic the sleek contours of luxury cars, elegant flower vases, lava lamps, and Oscar awards. Several of the bottles evoke the semiotic power of a phallic symbol or a streamlined missile. The way Yamrus photographs each bottle under studio lights on a velvety black background makes them look like fetish objects manufactured as bling by engineers of desire. Taken out of their typical contexts of convenience store shelves or restaurant table tops, the intention of consumer design shines through with glittering clarity.