Price: $295.00

    Code: 2557

    Directed by Lisanne Skyler
    2017, 40 minutes
    Purchase $295 | Classroom rental: $125
    Optional closed captions

    In 1969, Lisanne Skyler's parents bought an Andy Warhol “Brillo Box (3¢ Off)” sculpture for $1,000. An exact replica of a shipping carton for Brillo soap pads, Warhol’s Brillo Boxes were initially dismissed by the art world. But 40 years later, with Warhol’s reputation long secured, the same piece sold for more than $3 million at a record-breaking Christie’s auction.

    Blending a humorous family narrative with Pop Art history, the HBO Documentary Film Brillo Box (3¢ Off) follows this iconic work as it makes its way from a New York family’s living room to the contemporary global art market, exploring the ephemeral nature of art and value, and the decisions that shape a family’s history.

    In 1964, Andy Warhol shocked the art world by making hundreds of replicas of supermarket shipping cartons and presenting them as art. His most notorious were the Brillo Boxes, which he created by silk-screening the original Brillo packaging art, designed by abstract impressionist James Harvey, onto wooden boxes that were the exact same sizes as the supermarket originals. Originally selling for $200, Martin and Rita Skyler purchased a yellow Brillo Box for $1,000 in a New York art gallery in 1969. Two years later, Martin decided to trade the Brillo Box for a drawing by abstract artist Peter Young in 1971. Forty years after the Skylers sold their Brillo Box, Lisanne Skyler, now a filmmaker, learned it was going to be auctioned in New York at Christie’s. She filmed the auction, and, combining that footage with archival video, reenactments and interviews with her parents and contemporary art world figures, began to reconstruct her family’s Brillo Box history.

    In addition to interviews with Martin and Rita Skyler, Brillo Box (3¢ Off) includes insights from several high-profile names in the contemporary art world, including:

    • Laura Paulson, chairman, Americas at Christie’s

    • Jessica Todd Smith, the Susan Gray Detweiler Curator of American Art and Manager of the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    • Irving Sandler, art critic and historian

    • Eric Shiner, former director of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh

    • Kenny Schachter, writer, curator and dealer

    • Nancy Mozur, artist

    • Phung Huynh, artist and teacher

    • Daniel Wolf, producer of “Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film”

    • John Armaly, president and CEO of Armaly Brands, owner of the Brillo brand

    • Peter Young, the artist whose work replaced the Brillo Box in the Skyler home

    BRILLO BOX (3¢ OFF) was written, directed, and produced by Lisanne Skyler; editor, Jeanna French; producer, Judith Black. For HBO: supervising editor, Geof Bartz, A.C.E.; senior producer, Lisa Heller; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    Official Selection – The 54th New York Film Festival
    Official Selection – Aspen International Shortsfest
    Official Selection – Sheffield Doc/Fest, UK
    Official Selection – Provincetown International Film Festival
    Official Selection – Traverse City Film Festival
    Official Selection – Twin Cities Film Festival
    Official Selection – Indie Memphis Film Festival
    Official Selection – Napa Valley Film Festival
    Official Selection – St. Louis International Film Festival
    Official Selection – Atlanta Television Festival
    Official Selection – Big Sky Documentary Festival
    Official Selection – Portland International Film Festival
    Official Selection – Florida Film Festival
    Official Selection – Doc Edge Film Festival, New Zealand
    Official Selection – Mendocino Film Festival
    Official Selection – Doc Lands Film Festival
    Official Selection – Boulder International Film Festival
    WINNER – Audience Award, Door Kinetic Arts Festival


    "Make[s] you smile a little and give you a moment's pause to consider the value of things, the importance of memory and the relevance of art in our lives." -

    "Acknowledges Warhol’s breakthrough thinking about the commercialization of fine art, the pretensions of commercial art, and what had become a near-imperceptible gap between them." - John Anderson, The Wall Street Journal

    "This lighthearted documentary intertwines the legacy of Andy Warhol’s “Brillo Box” with that of the family that bought one of the iconic sculptures for a meager $1,000... Ms. Skyler offers a personal, and laughable, take on a global phenomenon." - The New York Times

    "Skyler packs an incredible amount of information into a concise 40-minute film that will appeal to art aficionados and curious onlookers alike." - Artnet

    "We get to witness the ups and downs (mostly ups) of the global art market, we get to watch as perspectives on Warhol and his work have changed over the years, and (most intriguingly) we get to see how Warhol — self-described as a 'deeply superficial person' — created art that truly meant something to people, despite his best efforts." - The Boston Globe

    "With a fun, disarming attitude‎ that surely Warhol himself would admire, Brillo Box (3¢ off) has‎ an ‎accessibility that few discussions of fine art ever do‎, easing into discussions about Warhol’s egalitarian beliefs about art and what can be classified as such that feel weighty without ever feeling academic." - The Moveable Fest