Originally conceived by Guido Drocco and Franco Mello in 1972, Gufram’s cactus is one of Radical design’s most iconic pieces, and one that over the years has lent itself to many interpretations. It became black, blue and red in a homage to France, while its distinctive green spikes gave way to a psychedelic, multicoloured treatment by Sir Paul Smith. Metacactus, a celebration of the design’s 40th anniversary in 2012, featured a lime green trunk with orange tips, and more limited editions featured the cactus painted white and black.

For the latest in this series of reinterpretations of an icon, Gufram teamed up with The Andy Warhol Foundation of Visual Arts to create a trio of the Cactus in pink, yellow and blue with black spikes, a nod to the pop artist’s vision. The limited editions (of 99 pieces in each colour) land on the occasion of the design’s 50th anniversary, and the pieces are still made from the original 1972 mould, then hand-finished by specialised artisans.

Gufram cactus in blue and yellow with black spikes

The colours are inspired by Wahrol’s artworks, and were created in collaboration with the Foundation, making the resulting designs a fitting meeting point between Pop-Art and Radical design. 

‘The collaboration between Gufram and Andy Warhol feels so right that it’s almost absurd that it has never happened before!’ enthuses Gufram’s Charley Vezza. ‘Finally the pop art genius encountered Cactus, the most pop of all design icons.’ 

Gufram cactus in blue, yellow and pink with black spikes

‘We started off imagining how Warhol could have depicted the Cactus, and then we created the 3D version by working with a trio of typically Warhol colours and highlighting their tips with black, just as in one of the artist’s screenprints,’ he continues. ‘The more I look at them the more I imagine Andy entering the Gufram lab in 1970s Turin and exiting with a product just like this one… or maybe not!’ 

Adds Michael Dayton Hermann, Director of Licensing, Marketing and Sales at the The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts: ‘This unique project celebrates Warhol’s continued influence on contemporary culture. Gufram’s unique creative vision unexpectedly transformed Warhol’s iconic silkscreen technique into three dimensions.’ §